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UPDATE: Man Learns Sentence in Death of 10-Year-Old Girl

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/28/12 @ 11:35 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- One text message was all it took for two families to find themselves in court Wednesday morning.

The man who pleaded guilty to his role in a traffic crash that killed a 10-year-old girl from Ironton learned his prison sentence Wednesday morning.

Before the judge entered the courtroom, a mother wept, a man appeared to pray and thoughts were of a horrible day back in December of 2010.

That's the day when Marsha McGinnis and her 10-year-old daughter were traveling south on State Route 93 just outside Jackson, Ohio, when a jeep driven by Christopher Haines, 32, of Oak Hill, Ohio rear-ended their car.

After being hit, the McGinnis' car was pushed into the northbound lane -- hitting another car head-on. Ten-year-old Angel McGinnis died later that day at a local hospital.

In August, Haines, 31, of Oak Hill, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

Haines was back in Jackson County Common Pleas Court Wednesday where he was sentenced to four years and 11 months in a jail. He also received credit for time served which is now two years.

Prior to sentencing, Marsha McGinnis declined to speak before the judge.

"I didn't want to give him the satisfaction that I sat and wrote something to say to him... I have nothing to say to him. He'll never understand, no matter what I say. Never understand what he's done to everybody and how he's affected so many lives" Marsha McGinnis said.

Defense attorney James Boulger also spoke during the hearing.

"I don't think any of us who haven't experienced the loss of a child can really grasp the pain that it causes and the fact that it continues in time. It's a wound that will probably never heal, Chris has not become a parent yet but I know he is remorseful for what has happened, it was an accident," Boulger said. "He acknowledged the fact that he was distracted by a text communication that came to him while he was driving."

Haines stood before the court and said he was sorry for what happened.

"There's not a day or an hour that goes by that I don't think about all the people affected on every side of this. If somehow I could change places I would, I'm just sorry." said Haines.

After sentencing, WSAZ.com spoke to Marsha McGinnis about the sentencing.

"He shattered everything that ever meant something to me. My kids have been all I lived for and since that day my life has been upside down and I'll never be the same because of him, because of his careless actions," McGinnis said.

Prosecutor Paul Scarcella said it was important to aggressively prosecute this case because of its nature.

"Texting and driving has become a bigger problem on our freeways, so we wanted to make sure that people understand that they can't be texting and driving and that what is just an instance to them could turn out in a situation like this where you just take your eyes off the road for a second and because of that a 10-year-old girl is gone," Scarcella said.

McGinnis said the pain will never go away and the drive home Wednesday would be difficult.

"As you drive back home today, you're going to pass a cross that's on the side of the road. What will be going through your mind?" a WSAZ.com reporter asked.

"I have to stop at that cross just to know that was the last place ... that spot in the road was the last place my daughter was alive and well and with me," McGinnis said.



UPDATE 7/31/12 @ 1:10 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- No trial for the man charged with the traffic related death of a 10-year old girl from Lawrence County, Ohio.

Tuesday morning, Christopher Haines plead guilty to one count of aggravated vehicle homicide and three counts of aggravated vehicle assault during a hearing in Jackson County County Common Pleas Court. The plea came as his trial was set to begin.

The accident happened on State Route 93 near milepost 10 on December 18, 2010.

Marsha McGinnis, 28, of Ironton, Angel McGinnis, 10, and Brice McGinnis, 5, were stopped behind another car on 93. According to Highway Patrol, another car rear-ended them -- forcing their car into one ahead of them.

The McGinnis' car then went into the other lane, where it was struck by oncoming traffic.

Marsha, Angel and Brice McGinnis were flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital. 10-year-old Angel McGinnis died at the hospital.

At the time of the accident the Ohio Highway Patrol alleged Haines was driving under the influence of drugs.

Sharee McGinnis was in the courtroom Tuesday crying as the plea was taken.

Although she is satisfied with the agreement, she thinks Haines should have received a harsher penalty.

"At least 10 years, my baby was 10 and she was taken because of him. He took my life away from me, he changed everybody's life that ever knew her," McGinnis said.

The state requested Haines to be sentenced to 4 years and 11 months in jail. Haines could receive a maximum sentence of 9 1/2 years. A date for sentencing has not been set.

Last summer, Haines was expected to plead guilty to a vehicular homicide charge, but the McGinnis family rejected that deal. No specifics were released as to why it was rejected and the family declined to comment.



UPDATE 1/27/12 @ 11:20 a.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A trial has been postponed for a man charged with the death of a 10-year-old girl in a traffic accident.

Christopher Haines is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.

Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County, Ohio, died in the crash that happened along State Route 93 in December 2010.

Haines' trial was set to begin Monday in Jackson County Common Pleas Court, but it has been continued according to court officials. No new trial date has been set at this time.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/17/11 @ 10:38 a.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A new trial date has been set for a man charged with the death of a 10-year-old girl in a traffic accident.

Christopher Haines is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.

Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County, died in the crash that happened along State Route 93 in December.

Following a hearing Monday in Jackson County Common Pleas Court, a November 15 trial date was set for Haines.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/8/11 @ 10:50 a.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The trial has been continued for the man charged with the death of a 10-year-old girl in a traffic accident.

The trial for Christopher Haines was scheduled to begin Monday in Jackson County Common Pleas Court.

Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County, died in the crash that happened along State Route 93 in December.

In January, Haines, 29, was indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.

Back in June, Haines was expected to plead guilty to the vehicular homicide charge, but the McGinnis’s s family rejected the deal. No specifics were released as to why the deal was rejected. The family declined to comment.

Court officials tell WSAZ.com the trial was delayed after the Jackson County Prosecutor turned the case over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The AG’s office then asked for a continuance.

A pre-trial/status conference is now set for August 15. A new trial date has not been set at this time.



UPDATE 6/2/11
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A plea deal has been rejected for a man charged with the death of a 10-year-old girl in a traffic accident.

The family of Angel McGinnis was in the Jackson County, Ohio courthouse Thursday morning.

Christopher Haines was supposed to plead guilty to a vehicular homicide charge, but the girl's family declined the deal. No specifics were released as to why the deal was rejected.

The family declined to comment.

The Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor tells WSAZ.com that he is now waiting for a trial date for the case. He says he hopes that can real a plea deal before a trial would take place.

No word on when a possible trial would take place.

Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County died in the crash that happened along State Route 93 in December.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/8/11
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The trial for a man charged with the death of a 10-year-old girl in a traffic accident has been postponed.

Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County died in the crash that happened along State Route 93 in December.

In January, Christopher Haines, 29, was indicted on charges aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.

His trial was supposed to start Thursday in Jackson County Common Pleas Court

Court officials say a new trial date has not been set.

Haines remains in jail.



UPDATE 1/21/11
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) – A man charged with the death of a 10-year-old girl in a traffic accident has been arraigned after being indicted by a grand jury.

A Jackson County, Ohio Grand Jury indicted Christopher Haines, 29, on one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

The indictment was handed down on January 12. Haines was arraigned on the charges Wednesday. Court officials say his bond was set at $100,000-10% Cash. His next court appearance has not been determined

The charges are the result of a traffic accident along State Route 93 in December. Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County died in the crash.



UPDATE 12/28/10 @1:30 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) – The case of the man charged in the death of a 10-year-old girl has been moved to Jackson County Common Pleas Court.

Christopher Haines was originally charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Aggravated Vehicular Assault. The charges are the result of a traffic accident along State Route 93 earlier this month. Angel McGinnis, 10, of Lawrence County died in the crash.

Court Officials say the case was moved from Jackson County Municipal Court last week. A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday.

The case is now expected to go before the next grand jury which meets on January 12.



UPDATE 12/20/10 @ 4:19 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The man charged in the death of a 10-year-old girl was in court Monday.

Christopher Haines was arraigned in Jackson County Municipal Court Monday afternoon.

Haines is being charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Aggravated Vehicular Assault.

Haines is scheduled to be in court for his preliminary hearing on December 28.

Municipal Court officials tell WSAZ.com that Haines' case could be presented to the Grand Jury before the 28.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 12/18/10
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- One week before Christmas, a 10-year-old girl was killed in an accident Ohio Highway Patrol said was caused by a driver under the influence of drugs.

The accident happened on State Route 93 near milepost 10 at 10 Saturday morning.

Marsha McGinnis, 28, of Ironton, Angel McGinnis, 10, and Brice McGinnis, 5, were stopped behind another car on 93. According to Highway Patrol, another car rear-ended them -- forcing their car into one ahead of them.

The McGinnis' car then went into the other lane, where it was struck by oncoming traffic.

Marsha, Angel and Brice McGinnis were flown to Cabell-Huntington Hospital. 10-year-old Angel McGinnis was later pronounced dead.

The driver that plowed into the McGinnis' car, Christopher Haines, 29, was determined to be under the influence of drugs by the Highway Patrol. He was charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and incarcerated in the Jackson County Correctional Facility.

The jail would not release his picture, because of an "ongoing investigation."

All passengers in other cars involved only suffered minor injuries.


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