Less than a year after he was charged with killing a female runner while driving under the influence of drugs, Jonathan B. Coffman updated the cover photo on his Facebook page.

The photo he posted was of a zombie woman with a bloody face, looking up from the pavement beside the wheel of a truck.

Prosecutors showed the image on a video screen Nov. 29 in a Franklin County courtroom during Coffman's sentencing hearing.

"There's no justifying that photo while this case was pending," assistant prosecutor Daniel Meyer said. "For lack of a better word, it's appalling."

Coffman, 33, tried to explain to Common Pleas Judge Chris Brown that it was a photo of his girlfriend, that both of them are horror fans, and it was just a "cool" photo with no connection to the case.

Brown didn't buy the explanation or that Coffman was truly remorseful for causing the death of 68-year-old Linda J. Evans.

"I don't believe a word that comes out of your mouth," Brown said.

The judge imposed the maximum sentence of eight years for aggravated vehicular homicide, plus six months for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He also suspended Coffman's driver's license for life. Coffman pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

Evans, a dedicated marathon runner, was on a 15-mile, early morning run on July 31, 2017, when she was struck in the 700 block of Park Meadow Road by an SUV that fled the scene. Her body was discovered about an hour later by a passing motorist.

A Westerville police officer discovered Coffman sitting in his 2002 Ford Explorer in the parking lot of his employer, JP Morgan Chase, not far from where the body was found.

Damage and blood on the vehicle, as well as debris from the vehicle found near Evans' body, linked Coffman to the crash. He told police he had become sleepy behind the wheel on his way to work because of taking prescription medication that morning for bipolar disorder. A blood test found he had intoxicating levels of an anti-anxiety drug and oxycodone in this system.

Coffman, a Delaware resident, wept while apologizing to Evans' family in court.

"I'm so sorry, and that's an understatement," he said. "I just, I can't find the words."

Evans' husband, daughter and twin sister were among two dozen grieving supporters who crowded into the courtroom to speak on behalf of a woman who had recently retired as a teacher's aide for Columbus City Schools after more than 30 years with the district.

Gary Evans said he met his wife 40 years ago when they were carpooling with a group of Columbus runners to participate in the Boston Marathon.

"Besides running together, we loved to climb mountains every summer in Colorado and Wyoming," he said. "That is the type of retirement I was hoping for. ... Because of this man's actions, I no longer have my sidekick and best friend."

jfutty@dispatch.com

@johnfutty