3 years for driver in crash that killed baby

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state - By John Futty [email protected] dis­patch. com @ john­futty

A woman who drove her SUV off a Mif­flin Town­ship road and struck and killed a 7-month-old boy in a stroller of­fered no ex­pla­na­tion for her ac­tions Wed­nes­day dur­ing her sen­tenc­ing hear­ing.

Muhuba A. Mo­hamed, 32, of the North­east Side, chose to re­main silent be­fore Franklin County Com­mon Pleas Judge Lau­rel Beatty Blunt sent her to prison for three years and im­posed a life­time sus­pen­sion of her driver’s li­cense.

“You should never get be­hind the wheel of a car ever again,” the judge told her.

In Oc­to­ber, Beatty Blunt con­victed Mo­hamed of ag­gra­vated ve­hic­u­lar homi­cide, rul­ing that she was driv­ing reck­lessly when she caused the death of Micah Fere­bee. The judge could have sen­tenced her to as many as five years in prison.

Mo­hamed had no drugs or al­co­hol in her sys­tem when her Toy­ota Rav4 went off the right side of Wester­ville Road near In­nis Road and through a mail­box be­fore slam­ming into the stroller as it was be­ing pushed by the in­fant’s fa­ther about 5 p.m. June 2, 2016. She never hit the brakes or turned the steer­ing wheel to avoid a col­li­sion, con­tin­u­ing un­til the ve­hi­cle struck a house.

“I still don’t know why this hap­pened,” said the fa­ther, Ke­nan M. Fere­bee, who was tossed into the air by the im­pact but es­caped se­ri­ous in­jury. “I still don’t know how this hap­pened. ... We have to drive by that place ev­ery day. It’s a con­stant re­minder of what hap­pened.”

His voice broke as he spoke of see­ing his son ly­ing on the ground and pick­ing up his life­less body.

Mo­hamed had been in a sim­i­lar crash just four days ear­lier, swerv­ing off In­ter­state 71 and crash­ing into a high­way me­dian in Delaware County. In both crashes, she was driv­ing with a tem­po­rary per­mit but didn’t have a li­censed driver with her, as re­quired by law.

Hers was one of three hear­ings Wed­nes­day in which Beatty Blunt sen­tenced de­fen­dants for caus­ing fa­tal crashes. In the others:

De­an­dreo R. Brown, 25, of the North Side was sen­tenced to four years in prison for a drunken-driv­ing crash that killed Sher­lene Parker, 68, on North Cas­sidy Av­enue near East Hud­son Street on the North­east Side on Dec. 19. He pleaded guilty last month to ag­gra­vated ve­hic­u­lar homi­cide. Brown’s blood-al­co­hol con­tent was mea­sured at 0.208, more than twice the level at which a per­son is con­sid­ered im­paired un­der Ohio law, after his car rear-ended Parker’s SUV, knock­ing it into the path of an on­com­ing trac­tor-trailer.

Pa­tri­cia E. Hayes, 40, of Reynolds­burg, was sen­tenced to 3 years in prison for of­fenses that in­cluded caus­ing a head-on crash that killed Michael Bates, 27, on Gen­der Road be­tween Wright Road and Not­tinghill Trail Drive on the Far East Side on May 10, 2015. Hayes pleaded guilty last month to a mis­de­meanor count of ve­hic­u­lar homi­cide. The bulk of her sen­tence was for vi­o­lat­ing pro­ba­tion in a 2016 case of il­le­gally ob­tain­ing oxy­codone.

Hayes showed up to Wed­nes­day’s hear­ing with drugs in her sys­tem, a morn­ing test re­vealed. The judge told Hayes she found it “shock­ing and ap­palling” that the threat of prison wasn’t enough to keep her clean.

Brown and Hayes both apol­o­gized in court to their vic­tim’s fam­i­lies.

The fam­ily of Micha Fere­bee got no such mes­sage from Mo­hamed, who plans to ap­peal her con­vic­tion.

A na­tive of So­ma­lia, Mo­hamed didn’t tes­tify at her trial, which she lis­tened to with the help of a So­mali in­ter­preter.

Beatty Blunt said that she has re­ceived email and phone mes­sages mak­ing ref­er­ence to Mo­hamed’s na­tion­al­ity and re­li­gion.

“That has noth­ing to do with this case,” she said, “and I didn’t take any of that into con­sid­er­a­tion.”


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