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15-time OVI offender gets 10 years in prison

Published: Wed, November 24, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.


Keith Urso

By Ed Runyan



Labeling him a “danger to the community” and drivers across the country, Judge Andrew Logan ordered Keith Urso to spend 10 years behind bars for his 15th drunken-driving conviction.

“Apparently no prior sanction by any court has received your attention,” Judge Logan told the Warren man Tuesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

“Mr. Urso, you are a danger to the community at large and the citizens of the country who daily drive on our national highways,” the judge continued.

“Prior sanctions haven’t worked. Rehabilitation hasn’t worked. Short-term incarceration hasn’t worked,” he said.

Another Trumbull County Common Pleas Court judge sentenced Urso to one year in prison in 2006 for his last drunken-driving offense, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, Urso stood beside his attorney, Anthony Consoldane, without emotion as the sentence was read. He offered no statement, though Consoldane suggested that it was “unfortunate that we got to this point” because “somebody four, five, six DUIs ago should have been able to do something to stop this.”

Mike Burnett, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, said Urso, 50, is “by the far the worst OVI offender we have had in Trumbull County” and is the only person he’s aware of here who has received the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Urso was arrested Jan. 31 in the parking lot of Monty’s Carry Out and Restaurant in Mecca Township after a concerned motorist followed him there while talking to 911 about Urso’s car, which was moving erratically — sometimes stopping in the road — as it headed north on Hoagland-Blackstub Road.

Urso’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.286 — more than three times the legal limit. Urso was convicted after a jury trial.

Urso has been confined to the Trumbull County jail almost continuously since the arrest. Judge Logan refused to allow Urso to be released on bond.

Judge Logan and Burnett mentioned in court Tuesday that Urso was drunk when he struck the back of a hay wagon containing women celebrating a softball victory in Bristol Township in 1982, killing Nadine Foster, 25, of Warren. Urso was 22.

“The overriding purposes of felony sentencing are to protect the public from future crimes and to punish the offender,” Judge Logan said, adding that Urso has been driving on a suspended license “for substantially the last 28 years” since the hay-wagon accident, for which he was sentenced to unspecified jail time.

“It’s just a matter of time until he kills again,” Burnett told Judge Logan in asking for the maximum sentence.

A friend of Nadine Foster’s family, Linda Spies, said she thinks “the system failed Nadine and [Urso]. I think he truly is an alcoholic. I think if someone would have gotten a hold of him when he was 15, when he first started [drinking], maybe Nadine could be alive and he wouldn’t have 15 DUIs.”


1cheybaby2(103 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Dont Feel Sorry For Keith, He Had a Chose To Get Behind That Wheel Or Walk Or Call Someone. He Made his choses all by himself. He's A Loser. He Killed Once and Would of done it again. He was Ordered Court Ordered to go to Alcohol Classes he never Went not once. Ive Been Hit By 2 Drunk Drivers, I wake up in Pain , Go To Bed In pain had 4 surgeries I still need 5 more because of Drunks, 3rd times a charm, the next time will kill me.. They Get Arrested 2 days later there out driving again. , 1st time shame on you, 2nd time shame on us, 3rd time your gone, 3 time loser for drunks to. Why should they be given a chance to kill, & kill. Lock them up for a Long Time, JUST LIKE URSO, If you Loan a Drunk your Car Then You Go To Jail. No access To License Plates, And I know for a Fact Drunks Can Still Buy Plates, Our OHIO LAWS are a JOKE ! In Pa & Wva If You Dont Show Proof Of Insurance & a Valid License You Can Not Get Plates, If you lose your license you cant get a Plate. We need Strick Laws In Ohio. Stop Playing with Drunks & unlicense Driver. Get Them Off Our Roadways. .

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

We have an epidemic of drunks driving in Youngstown . They seem to be tolerated here .

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3Firdaus(12 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Another Christian drunk...since the media is a bit biased and colorblind when it come to religion, I'll keep tabs on the religion of all offenders of the law posted on this site. I'm gonna assume they are all going to be pretty similar........wake up folks. ANY debate is welcomed, but please no opinions. Be very prepared for just facts, though.

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4MaryY(3 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

How does someone kill someone while driving drunk? Get multiple other arrests for drunk driving and only spent 1 year in jail over a 28 year period. Even these 10 years are not enough.

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5ojanet22(134 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

What took so long?

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6starofesther(168 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Do not blame (A Sin) to blame...Jesus for this man's own choice! and why 15 OVI and sound like he turns to alcohol and some turn to criticism and some turn to hate some turn to ill gotten gain some turn to pron and no one turns some turn to religion(man made doctrine) to the Lord God Almighty and His Ten Commandments and instead of walking in the way of the Lord they walk in there own way in the corruption of the flesh or evil

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7palbubba(802 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

The majority of the blame belongs to the lawmakers and the justice system. It is beyond belief that this man had 14 previous convictions and was still a free man with access to driving a car. This should be grounds for a life sentence because as he has proven, after 10 years he will be on the road with the chance to kill someone else.

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8seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Wow, all of a sudden this is a pulpit for religious commentary. This is plain and simple some trashy drunk that got slapped on the wrist for all his previous 14 DUI's, including killing an innocent person. Nothing to do with God, just the judicial masterninds that have allowed him to go free and not bust his a-- like they should have. Maybe someone goes out with some pals, has a few, then gets popped by the law. Not excusing it, just trying to make a point. This idiot did this 15 times, and that is only the ones he got nailed for. This goof probably hasn't spent a sober day in 15+ years. Don't try to wrap this in a religious blanket and spew rhetoric or explain his ways. He's an alcoholic, period. The real problem with all this? The judges that allowed him back on the streets and the lawyers that made deals so they could clear their schedules to go kiss some political a-- and go to power-tie dinners, yukking it up about how brilliant they all are. The failure to protect society from a drunk like this is directly on them. It was there to be handled and every previous judge and legal representation failed, Where is the accountability for that?

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

This all about freedom ! Living in the wrong place can impair it . Youngstown drunks are treated with respect and police are fired for harassing them !

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10southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, alcohol is a legal substance in our society and is frequently abused. Banning alcohol during the Prohibition years did not work and would not work today either.

There is no easy solution to this problem. However, Keith Urso is finally in prison for his crimes against society.

Thank you to the concerned motorist who took the time to get involved and call 911, you may have saved someone's life.

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