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WARREN Crash victim's mother sued in defamation



Published: Tue, February 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Statements broadcast on television were defamatory, the suit says.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The parents of a 23-year-old man who is facing charges of aggravated vehicular homicide have filed a $2 million lawsuit against the victim's mother, alleging defamation of character.

Cindy and John Denno of Patchen S.E. filed the lawsuit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. The case has been assigned to Judge Peter Kontos. A hearing date has not been set. Pam Miller, the mother of the victim, Jeremy Roddy, could not be reached.

Christopher Denno of Warren has pleaded innocent to a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide. The case is pending before the Trumbull County grand jury.

What reports say: According to police reports and court papers, Denno's 1996 Camaro crashed into a telephone pole on North Road S.E. He was seriously injured, and his friend, Roddy, of Howland, a passenger in the car, was killed.

The lawsuit contends that Miller "stated false and defamatory statements" about the Dennos, that Miller made the statements to the press and that the statements were broadcast on television Feb. 14. Miller's statements have injured the Dennos' good reputation, the suit states. John Denno is a reserve Trumbull County deputy sheriff, and Cindy Denno is a nurse at St. Joseph Health Center.

With malice: The suit says that Miller acted with malice because at the time she made the statements she knew they were untrue or did not have evidence that what she was saying was the truth. Miller has said that she tried to get prosecutors to file more serious charges against Denno. She said she wants to make sure Denno "knows what he has done."

sinkovich@vindy.com




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