Ohio man pleads not guilty to recording fatal accident scene


By Mark Gillispie - Associated Press



This undated photo provided by the Lorain City Jail shows Paul Pelton. Pelton has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge after posting online a cellphone video of a grisly car crash in northeast Ohio that killed one teenager and critically injured another. Pelton is accused of using his phone to record the single-car accident in Lorain on July 13. It occurred after the vehicle went airborne while crossing railroad tracks and crashed into a house. Police say Pelton is heard calling the 17-year-old occupants “idiots” as others tried to help them. (Lorain City Jail via AP)

This undated photo provided by the Lorain City Jail shows Paul Pelton. Pelton has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge after posting online a cellphone video of a grisly car crash in northeast Ohio that killed one teenager and critically injured another. Pelton is accused of using his phone to record the single-car accident in Lorain on July 13. It occurred after the vehicle went airborne while crossing railroad tracks and crashed into a house. Police say Pelton is heard calling the 17-year-old occupants “idiots” as others tried to help them. (Lorain City Jail via AP)


CLEVELAND (AP) — A man who posted a cellphone video of a grisly car crash that killed one teenage boy and critically injured another pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge.

Paul Pelton, 41, of Lorain, is charged with vehicle trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, for using his phone to record the aftermath of a single-car accident on July 13. The car went airborne while crossing railroad tracks in Lorain, 30 miles west of Cleveland, and crashed into a house.

The charge stems from Pelton having opened a car door of the wrecked vehicle to continue recording while others tried to help. Pelton can be heard calling the teens “idiots” on the recording, police said. The passenger later died at a hospital.

Lorain police said in a news release that Pelton tried unsuccessfully to sell the video to several news organizations. It was posted to a Facebook account but later removed.

“To me this is very egregious,” said Lorain police Capt. Roger Watkins. “This is not the way people should treat each other.”

Attorney R.J. Budway said Wednesday that he doesn’t think his client committed a crime by shooting video of a crash scene and expects Pelton to be vindicated.

This undated photo provided by the Lorain City Jail shows Paul Pelton. Pelton has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge after posting online a cellphone video of a grisly car crash in northeast Ohio that killed one teenager and critically injured another. Pelton is accused of using his phone to record the single-car accident in Lorain on July 13. It occurred after the vehicle went airborne while crossing railroad tracks and crashed into a house. Police say Pelton is heard calling the 17-year-old occupants “idiots” as others tried to help them. (Lorain City Jail via AP)
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2015/07/web1_104779065-25b9b5c49264434fbcb38f4a53d2510c.jpgThis undated photo provided by the Lorain City Jail shows Paul Pelton. Pelton has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge after posting online a cellphone video of a grisly car crash in northeast Ohio that killed one teenager and critically injured another. Pelton is accused of using his phone to record the single-car accident in Lorain on July 13. It occurred after the vehicle went airborne while crossing railroad tracks and crashed into a house. Police say Pelton is heard calling the 17-year-old occupants “idiots” as others tried to help them. (Lorain City Jail via AP)

By Mark Gillispie

Associated Press