By BRIAN BOHNERT
The Fostoria man sentenced in September to 12 months in prison for the 2012 death of a nine-year-old boy was granted a judicial release Wednesday after serving only four months.
Seneca County Judge Michael Kelbley granted the request made by George R. Tucker, 75, of Fostoria, in an effort to place him under post-release community control for the next five years.
The judge sentenced Tucker to one year in prison on Sept. 18 on a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony, after his reckless driving Nov. 15, 2012 took the life of Mavin K. Hamilton, 9, of Fostoria.
In addition to his prison term, Tucker was also given a lifetime driver’s license suspension and he is prohibited from ever owning a firearm.
Under the direct supervision of the Ohio Adult Parole Advisory Board, Tucker must submit to random drug and alcohol urinalysis testing; undergo counseling, substance abuse rehabilitation and treatment; attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week; complete 300 hours of community service within the next five years with a 501(c)(3) or charitable organization; have no contact with the victim’s family; and, he cannot leave the state without the parole board’s permission.
Tucker is also ordered to pay all court costs within one year in monthly installments.
After Kelbley announced his ruling, Mavin’s mother, Leslie Kroetz, began crying as she buried her face into a handful of tissues. Immediately following the hearing, Kroetz left the building before Tucker’s family rose from their seats.
“It was kind of out of my hands. I said what I could, but it was ultimately up to the judge,” Kroetz said. “There’s nothing I can do to change it. That’s what we have courts for. I’d like to change it if I could. Eventually he’ll face a higher punishment.”
Hamilton was struck at approximately 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 2012 on Columbus Avenue near the intersection of East Lytle Street and Springville Avenue. According to reports, he ran out from behind a nearby building and into the roadway, where he was hit and dragged down the road by a Dodge Dakota driven by Tucker. The boy died two days later due to his injuries.
In a reconstruction report created by Lt. C.J. Kinn of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, one witness stated “a young child did not look for traffic — ran across the street into the pickup truck.” Another statement read “four kids come running out from behind a building. Three took off running north toward the tracks and another toward the street.” Tucker himself stated “this kid ran out in front of me.”
Tucker admitted to drinking three shots of Black Velvet whiskey before the incident and his blood alcohol level when Fostoria Police Department conducted a Breathalyzer exam was .094, above the legal limit of .08. However, when the Fremont Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol conducted a Gas Chromatography on Tucker, his blood alcohol level registered in at .147.
Out of her son’s untimely death came an opportunity for Hamilton to serve a greater cause, Kroetz said. Four of Hamilton’s organs were donated to individuals in need.
“Out of all of this tragedy, a nine-year-old boy saved four lives,” she said. “That is amazing. Mavin would be proud to know he saved four lives.”
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