man from Ravenna pleads guilty in the accident that killed a woman from Salem | News, Sports, Jobs


LISBON – A man from Ravenna pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges related to a car crash in 2018 that killed a 71-year-old woman from Salem and injured several members of her family while under the influence of drugs. He was immediately sentenced to eight years in prison by Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton.

Justin Stalnaker, 42, made no comment to the judge after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving; two counts of aggravated assault, modified third degree crimes from second degree crimes; three counts of the offense of assault; OVI and drug paraphernalia for a pipe in the vehicle for smoking methamphetamines.

Additionally, Stalnaker pleaded guilty to aggravated fifth-degree drug possession, which involved using methamphetamine last winter, Jan.19. Bickerton pointed out that this happened while this case was pending and only shows that he still hasn’t taken his addiction issues seriously.

She also reminded Stalnaker of how the court caught him trying to provide a false document stating that he had failed a COVID-19 test as an excuse for a previous court appearance.

“You went to great lengths to deceive this court”, said Bickerton.

She offered her condolences to the families of the victims for their losses and injuries and apologized for the case which took nearly three years to complete. While the family of those killed or injured in the crash and members of Stalnaker’s family were in the courtroom, no one made a statement before the sentencing.

Bickerton said Stalnaker appears to be able to deceive a lot of people, functioning somewhat even when under the influence of drugs. She pointed out that taking drugs at home is one thing, but that it is purely selfish when he hits the road and hurts others.

“This is a disturbing case, a sad case”, said Deputy County District Attorney Alec Beech, who reviewed Stalnaker’s criminal history which includes previous drug offenses and on another occasion he was sentenced to jail for car assault Aries. “The sad reality is that this is what can happen when someone is driving under the influence.”

Stalnaker was driving a 2000 BMW on July 27, 2018 heading north on Westville Lake Road and did not stop at a stop sign, hitting a Chevy Trailblazer heading east on Georgetown Road.

Marlene A. Santini, 71, Salem, was killed after being thrown from the Chevy Trailblazer. Two other passengers were seriously injured: Lola M. Brown, who was 70 years old at the time of the crash, and 3-year-old Angela D. McCracken. The aggravated assault charges relate to these injuries.

The driver, Dennis McCracken, 43, sustained minor injuries, as did passengers Nina L. Wirkner, then 62, and Joanne M. McCracken, then 42. These are represented by the three counts of assault.

Stalnaker was also found to be under the influence of methamphetamines with a glass pipe used to smoke the drugs in his possession at the time of the accident.

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