Rohr

John Rohr, 37, during a change-of-plea hearing in late June. Photo by Conor Morris

A Summit County man was sentenced last week to three years in prison by Athens County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Lang in connection with a hit-and-run incident in June 2018 that killed an Albany area man.

John Rohr, 37, pleaded guilty in late June to two third-degree felony counts of failure to stop after an accident, one first-degree misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and one second-degree misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter. 

Rohr was indicted on similar charges last year after he drove over Tad Albano, 47, on an Athens street on June 23, 2018. Albano later died of his injuries.

During the hearing Friday, Rohr’s attorney, Mike Callahan of Akron, asked for Rohr to be placed on community-control probation, while the state requested that Rohr be sentenced to two years in prison as a result of the plea agreement Rohr took when he pleaded guilty.

Ultimately, Judge Lang sentenced Rohr to three years in prison on a merged single third-degree felony count of failure to stop, and a total fine of $1,375 (he was also sentenced to 180 days in prison for the driving while intoxicated charge and 90 days for the vehicular manslaughter charge, but those sentences will run concurrently with the three-year sentence).

Lang handed that sentence down after multiple members of Albano’s family gave victim-impact statements during the hearing Friday, including four of his children and his wife, detailing the pain and sense of loss they felt after Albano died. Albano was a longtime youth soccer coach in the region and the owner of a gardening business.

Assistant County Prosecutor Zach Saunders, who represented the family during the case, said in a brief interview Monday that the loss of Albano had a significant impact on his family and the community at large.

“He was instrumental in teaching kids, and he was an active community member who seemed to be loved by a lot of people, so it’s deeply impacted the family but also members of the community,” Saunders said.

Rohr also gave a statement to the court during the hearing Friday wherein he apologized for the crime. His pastor, Michael Doak, also spoke, saying he believes Rohr is truly remorseful. While a pre-sentencing investigation by the court found Rohr to be remorseful, Judge Lang said during the hearing that he did not find Rohr to be adequately remorseful, leading to the three-year sentence mentioned above, Saunders explained. Saunder had said during the hearing that Rohr had turned the lights off on the pickup truck he was driving right after the incident.

Rohr during his statement said he didn’t remember the incident, and linked it to a night of heavy drinking, Saunders confirmed.

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