New judge appointed in Valley vehicular-homicide case

Staff report


The Ohio Supreme Court has appointed a new judge to take over in the case of a woman charged with vehicular homicide.

Three previous judges have removed themselves from the case of Whitney Yaeger, 21, of Unity Road in Springfield Township. Judge Barbara Watson, retired Portage County Municipal Court judge, will now hear the case.

Yaeger is charged with killing a pedestrian who was out for a morning walk at dawn June 17, 2010. She told state police it happened while she was texting, a report indicates.

Dave Muslovski, 55, was run over on Middletown Road a half-mile from his Unity Road home. Muslovski was the owner of Iron City Wood Products in Campbell.

Yaeger has asked for a jury trial, which will take place in Struthers Municipal Court. Struthers Judge James Lanzo recused himself from the case in the beginning because he knows and has legally represented the family. The judge who replaced him, Diane Vettori of Sebring, recused herself because she discovered her niece knew Yaeger. Yaeger’s attorney asked that Vettori’s replacement, Judge Michael McNulty of Barberton, be disqualifed because he had read letters from Muslovski’s family that biased him. Before the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas president judge could rule on whether to disqualify him, Judge McNulty removed himself from the case.

The next court appearance set is a motion hearing at 1 p.m. Dec. 12.

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