A man who allegedly led Gahanna Division of Police officers on a chase Jan. 8 has been charged with several felony counts, including aggravated vehicular homicide.
A Franklin County grand jury on Jan. 17 indicted Christopher A. McCleese II, 38, of 131 Martin Ave., Columbus, on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of felonious assault with a repeat violent-offender specification, two counts of failure to comply with an order of law enforcement and two counts of OVI, according to Carrin Wester, Gahanna's communications manager.
One homicide charge is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to eight years in prison; the other is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years, according to the Franklin County Clerk of Courts' file. The felonious-assault charge also is a second-degree felony, according to the court file.
Both counts of failure to comply are felonies -- one third degree, one fourth degree. The OVI charges are first-degree misdemeanors, according to the court file.
According to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, McCleese had "a concentration of methamphetamine metabolite in his urine and/or blood" at the time of the crash.
According to the Gahanna Division of Police, officers responded to a report of a suspected known and wanted person who was leaving a residence on Park Drive at 6:54 p.m. Jan. 8.
A vehicle belonging to McCleese was seen leaving the Park Drive residence and traveling onto Johnstown Road.
Officers had been on the lookout for McCleese because of an active warrant for felonious assault resulting from an incident Jan. 3, reports said. Shannon E. Currier, 44, was the alleged victim, Wester said.
A pursuit was initiated at 7 p.m. by Gahanna officers at East Johnstown Road and ended at 7:04 p.m., when the suspect’s vehicle crashed into a tree at Clark State and Headley roads, according to police.
McCleese fled the crash scene but was taken into custody at 7:40 p.m. in the Clark State Road area, according to police.
Currier, a passenger in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene, Wester said. She was a Gahanna resident, according to her obituary.
McCleese was taken to Mount Carmel East for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, Wester said.
McCleese' arraignment has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, according to court records. No defense attorney is listed.