SIDNEY – Kathryn Clare Unrast, of St. Henry, admitted in court that while driving, she was shopping online through her cell phone when her car struck a farm tractor at 59 mph causing the vehicular death of a Fort Loramie man.
A plea agreement reached with prosecutors led to her pleading no contest to an amended charge in Shelby County Common Pleas Court Friday.
Judge James Stevenson declared she was guilty in the case also telling her he is not bound by and promises made to her about sentencing.
Unrast, 55, 3563 State Route 119, St. Henry, was originally charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony. The amended charge was attempted aggravated vehicular homicide, a fourth-degree felony, submitted during her final pretrial hearing.
Unrast was represented by attorney Michael Streng of Marysville.
The agreement calls for a joint recommendation for community control by local prosecutors and defense attorneys. When she is sentenced, Unrast faces a maximum of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. A mandated suspension of her driver’s license will be from three years to a lifetime driving ban.
Stevenson reviewed the no contest plea with Unrast, which was not an admission of guilt, but also waives her assumption of innocence in the case. The plea denotes Unrast does not dispute the facts of the case that may have resulted in a conviction. Online court records show Stevenson may impose a sentence the same as if Unrast was found guilty during a jury trial.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, John A. Fullenkamp, 36, of Fort Loramie, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on June 16.
The crash occurred at approximately 4 p.m. in the 11000 block of state Route 29. The investigation showed that Fullenkamp was driving a farm tractor pulling an agricultural sprayer southbound on state Route 29 in Turtle Creek Township.
A white 2009 Cadillac Escalade, driven by Unrast was also southbound at 59 mph behind the tractor. Unrast’s vehicle struck the sprayer and tractor in the rear ejecting Fullenkamp from the vehicle.
Following the accident, Unrast was transported to Wilson Health by Fort Loramie Rescue, where she was treated and released.
No court date has been set for her sentencing.