Woman pleads guilty to vehicular homicide



The victim told police the defendant was angry with him for not giving her money.
WARREN -- A woman pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence and could get up to 10 years in prison for running over a 79-year-old Hubbard man in the parking lot of the Golden Stallion on March 24, 2005.
Nakieta Owens, 31, of Bane Street Southwest, ran over Frank S. Rudolph of Hubbard-Thomas Road, outside of the Warren Township tavern. Rudolph died Sept. 24, 2005, which changed the charges against Owens from vehicular assault to vehicular homicide.
David Toepfer, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, said he is recommending a prison term for Owens but did not recommend a specific number of years. The two felony convictions could each bring sentences of one to five years. She will be sentenced in about six weeks after the county's Adult Probation Department conducts a presentence investigation.
A Mahoning County coroner's report said Rudolph was struck by a green van, which left the scene. The van was located four days later at Owens' Bane Street residence. That day, Owens gave police a videotaped statement that she had run over Rudolph in the bar's parking lot, the coroner's report said.
At the scene, Rudolph told police Owens lived on Bane Street and was angry because he wouldn't give her any money.
What witnesses said
A witness said Owens hit Rudolph with her van and ran over him a second time before fleeing. Another witness said she heard some commotion in the parking lot and saw the van back up over Rudolph while he was on the ground, according to the coroner's report.
Owens told police she wanted money from Rudolph, and he became upset and drew a gun on her. She then told police she ran from his vehicle to her van, and as she started backing up, Rudolph was behind her and she ran over him, according to the coroner's report.
Daniel Rudolph, Frank S. Rudolph's son, said his father, a retired insurance agent, was dedicated to his underprivileged clients in the Warren area -- sometimes lending them money to pay rent or medical bills.
runyan@vindy.com

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