- Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017

CLEVELAND (AP) - A driver suspected of fatally hitting a state trooper along a Cleveland interstate has pleaded not guilty to additional charges that could bring a tougher sentence if he’s convicted.

Thirty-seven-year-old Joshua Gaspar, of Columbia Station, remained free on $500,000 bond after his court appearance Monday.

He initially pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in the September death of Trooper Kenneth Velez. He was later indicted on more charges, including causing an officer’s death while driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs.

Prosecutors say Gaspar took methadone shortly before the crash and didn’t have a proper license.

His attorney has said that Gaspar took a prescribed dose of methadone issued to him to address a drug addiction, and that his license was valid.


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