BATAVIA, Ohio — Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Jeremy Ault pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from a deadly crash.
Ault was indicted last month on misdemeanor charges of vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide for a January crash in Batavia.
Anthony Bertram was driving northbound on State Route 222 when Ault's Ohio State Highway Patrol vehicle crossed the center line and struck him head-on. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Members of Bertram's family, including his mother Trina, held photos of him at Wednesday's court hearing.
"It's just so hard, our heads are spinning so fast," she said. "Just trying to stick together and hold each other up, it's really hard."
Ault, who appeared in a Clermont County courtroom in a wheelchair, is currently on occupational injury leave recovering from injuries he suffered in the crash, according to Lt. Robert Sellers.
— Ally Kraemer (@AllyKraemer) May 8, 2019
Ault's attorney, Joshua Crousey, said he has a long recovery ahead, but his injuries are the lesser tragedy.
"Every single day he thinks about that young man and there's nothing more tragic than what happened here," Crousey said.
Ault was released on his own recognizance. He's expected back in court for a hearing at 8:30 a.m. on May 15.