Sesic faces vehicular homicide charge
By Jane Beathard
The local man held responsible for a bizarre, fatal accident on Lafayette-Plain City Road in February was arraigned in Madison County Common Pleas Court Tuesday charged with aggravated vehicular homicide.
Dale A. Sesic, 53, 110 Cedar Drive, London, was allegedly speeding and driving drunk on the afternoon of Feb. 3 when his 2002 Hyundai Elantra rear-ended a parked 2007 Hyundai Accent with Richard Payne, 72, also of London, at the wheel. The Accent flipped over, striking Payne’s ex-wife, Marilyn Payne, 69, who was picking up cans in an adjacent ditch. She died within hours.
Sesic admitted he had been drinking and was driving in excess of 70 mph when he hit Payne’s vehicle.
He said he was driving a friend to a family medical emergency and veered into the Accent to avoid an oncoming vehicle.
Defense attorney Thomas Arrington entered a not guilty plea for Sesic on Tuesday. Judge Robert D. Nichols released Sesic on house arrest, pending a June 4 trial. Sesic’s driving privileges are temporarily suspended.
Assistant county prosecutor Eamon Costello said Sesic has multiple drunk-driving convictions. If convicted of the current charge, the man could spend up to eight years in prison.
Also on Tuesday, a father and son duo believed responsible for a string of burglaries in seven central and western Ohio counties were arraigned on racketeering and a variety of other charges, stemming from those break-ins.
Donald A. Rhoads, 56, and Matthew A. Rhoads, 27, both formerly of 7211 West Jefferson-Kiousville Road, London, face 104 counts of burglary, theft, vandalism, receiving stolen property and possession of criminal tools. Both are currently serving four-year prison sentences for additional burglaries in Pickaway County.
The two were indicted by the Madison County Grand Jury two weeks ago, following an 11-month investigation into their alleged criminal activities.
Operating out of the Royal Inn Motel on state Route 56 near Mt. Sterling, the men allegedly burglarized at least 32 homes in Madison, Pickaway, Union, Delaware, Fayette, Clark and Miami counties in order to feed their heroin habits, according to Dep. Chris Carter of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Defense attorney Brian Joslin told Nichols he will represent both Rhoadses at a trial that is tentatively set for June 11. However, Nichols noted the extent and number of charges involved will likely push the case to the end of 2012.
In other common pleas court arraignments on Tuesday:
• Gregory M. Durkin, 32, 101 Shadeland, Wellford, South Carolina, was charged with assault, receiving stolen property and failing to comply with a police officer’s signal.
Durkin was arrested by troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and local sheriff’s deputies on March 4, following a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 70. Durkin was driving a car allegedly stolen in South Carolina at the time. When his vehicle blew a tire at the U.S. Route 42 intersection, Durkin fled on foot. Dep. Brian Huddleston eventually apprehended Durkin, following a brief fist fight.
Nichols appointed Fred Ballam to represent Durkin at a May 21 trial. The man remains in Tri-County Regional Jail under a $50,000 bond.
• Robert L. Vanblarcume, 38, 816 Greenfield Ave., Columbus, was charged with receiving stolen property and failing to comply with a police officer’s signal, stemming from a March 10 incident.
London Police Officer Michael Combs spotted Vanblarcume driving on Main Street in a van allegedly stolen from the Ohio Historical Society. When Combs attempted to stop the van, Vanblarcume fled east on Center Street. During the chase that followed, the van reached speeds in excess of 100 mph as it traveled east into Franklin County.
The van eventually blew two tires and Vanblarcume fled on foot. He was arrested by Combs and other officers who found the man hiding in a dumpster.
Nichols appointed Arrington to represent Vanblarcume at a June 4 trial. The man remains in jail under a $5,000 surety bond.
• Helen Buechner, 49, 501 Hawthorne Ave., London, was charged with theft by deception. Buechner is accused of illegally collecting $21,922 in unemployment benefits between June 1, 2008 and April 15, 2011.
Buechner retained Shannon Treynor to represent her at a June 7 trial. Nichols released the woman on a signature bond.
• Michael Goleaner, 20, 72 N. Center St., West Jefferson, was charged with possessing heroin on Nov. 25, 2011.
Ballam was appointed to represent Goleaner at a June 7 trial. He remains in jail under a $10,000 surety bond.