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NKY woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2018 drunk driving crash

Police: Woman was 5 times over legal limit
Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 20, 2020

NEWPORT, Ky. — A Northern Kentucky woman, who police say was intoxicated to an "extraordinary degree" when she crashed into another vehicle and killed a man on I-275, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Court officials said 24-year-old Emily Sherry, who previously faced a murder charge for the 2018 death of 37-year-old Robert Ransdell, accepted a plea deal Thursday to knock charges down to first-degree manslaughter.

That charge carries a recommended sentence of 17.5 years in prison.

On April 21, 2018, Sherry was driving under the influence on eastbound I-275 when she veered into the oncoming lane and struck Ransdell's Toyota Camry, "sending it careening off the road and flipping multiple times" before colliding with a tree, according to police.

Ransdell, who became pinned under the car’s tire, died at the scene.

When officers found Sherry, the then-23-year-old was intoxicated to such an "extraordinary degree" they felt it would have been unsafe for her to perform standard sobriety tests, according to a complaint filed in Campbell County District Court.

More: Woman was 5 times over the legal limit when she crashed, police say

Officers reported smelling alcohol and marijuana wafting out of Sherry's wrecked car. Police later wrote that at the emergency room, Sherry admitted "she had been drinking bourbon while babysitting,” and at one point claimed her boyfriend had been driving her car at the time of the crash.

An initial lab test showed Sherry’s blood alcohol concentration at .422, and a follow-up test maxed out Kentucky State Police's measuring equipment at .307. According to the University of Notre Dame's McDonald Center, any BAC level over .4 can lead to coma and even "death due to respiratory arrest."

Sherry is due in Campbell County Court for a sentencing hearing on March 31.

Ransdell, who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 under the slogan “With Jews We Lose,” was a Cincinnati leader of the white supremacist group National Alliance, according to a 2012 WCPO article. He wrote an inflammatory flyer and organized an anti-immigration rally at the Boone County Library, the story reported.

Editor's note: Sherry contributed reporting to while majoring in journalism at NKU and working for the university's student newspaper, The Northerner.