Driver guilty in crash that killed road worker

Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 20:58:37-04

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A driver who killed a utility worker in West Chester last year was found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, three counts of aggravated vehicular assault and OVI Friday.

Michele Schuster, 24, drove while on Xanax and hit a utility truck last spring, killing Amber Rooks and injuring three others.

Jurors deliberated for about five hours Friday after hearing closing arguments before they returned with the verdict.

Schuster will be sentenced May 19.

Check back with WCPO for updates.

Earlier, Schuster took the stand in her own defense and claimed she had been drugged by a man who described himself as her "sugar daddy."

That man, Kevin Bowman, testified he met Schuster while she was working at a strip club in Dayton. Bowman admitted to giving Schuster “thousands of dollars” and taking her shopping during their 1½-year relationship. In exchange, she performed sex acts on him, he said.

Schuster said her relationship with Bowman was platonic and that he was like a father figure for her.

The defense had claimed that Bowman had drugged Schuster, which he denied. He said that she had stolen his Xanax from him in the past.

A forensic toxicologist also testified that blood taken from Schuster at the hospital tested positive for Xanax, but negative for other drugs, including the date rape drug GHB.