Saturday, October 21, 2000

Fugitive must pay for crash

Award is $2.9M; man fled to Mexico

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A Butler County judge awarded on Friday a $2.9 million judgment to a woman whose husband was killed in a traffic accident police say was caused by a drunk driver.

        Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage issued the judg ment against Jesus Padilla, who fled to his native Mexico to avoid a trial on criminal charges. Peggy Shope, whose husband, Cecil, was killed in the Sept. 23, 1999 crash in West Chester Township, took no joy in the judge's decision.

        “There isn't any amount of money that can compensate me for the loss of my husband,” said Mrs. Shope, of Anderson Township.

        Sandra G. Shircliff, 47, of Maineville, also was killed in the crash.

        Mr. Padilla is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, driving with a suspended license and driving while intoxicated. He has at least one previous drunk-driving conviction.

        Mr. Padilla failed to show up for his March 27 trial. Mr. Padilla, 42, had businesses in the Hamilton area, including a drywall business, and businesses in Mexico.


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