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Alcohol, cigarettes' effect on fetus limits evidence in Zorger homicide case



Published: Fri, October 21, 2011 @ 11:31 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — A 26-year-old Canfield woman pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide Thursday for her role in a car accident that left her fetus dead and killed a 55-year-old woman.

Raechel Zorger entered the plea in front of Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Dec. 20.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Zorger swerved left on Detwiler Road in Beaver Township on April 12, hitting a car driven by Darla Schumacher, 55, of Detwiler Road. The patrol said Zorger had a blood-alcohol level of 0.259. The legal limit in Ohio is 0.08.

Zorger also was charged with another count of aggravated vehicular homicide and one misdemeanor count of child endangering in the death of her unborn child.

Those two charges were dismissed by prosecutors Thursday when evidence about the fetus’ viability was not permitted.

Prosecutors had requested medical records, but the judge did not grant the requests until a deadline had passed. The requests were prompted after a coroner’s report in August stated the fetus weighed 377 grams — or 13.29 ounces — and was 23 weeks and five days old.

“... The fetus was so small ... giving rise to the viability issue and question as to the gestational age, due to [Zorger’s] own action of reportedly smoking 20 cigarettes a day and drinking alcohol during her pregnancy.

For the complete story, read Friday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.


Comments

1db(280 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like Zorger is not only guilty of drunk driving, vehicular homicide, and manslaughter of her unborn child, but also of abuse of her fetus and being an idiot in general. This case smells bad. Why did Judge Krichbaum also throw out the blood alcohol evidence which would have mandated a prison term? Very suspicious...

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2boxerlover(124 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Can't charge her with aggravated vehicular homicide of her unborn child because of the fetus viability because of smoking and drinking while pregnant that ultimately killed the fetus. Hmmm...seems like she killed it either way...the manner of the "homicide" was the only difference. Wow...double murderer walks....only in Ytown.

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3LoveWins(35 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely infuriating. She murdered two people! She should rot in jail for being so incredibly selfish.

Yet, we wonder why people re-commit crimes--our legal systems almost encourage them to. I hope this guilt follows her for the rest of her life.

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4LoveWins(35 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely infuriating. She murdered two people! She should rot in jail for being so incredibly selfish.

Yet, we wonder why people re-commit crimes--our legal systems almost encourage them to. I hope this guilt follows her for the rest of her life.

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5Redchick2006(3 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

She is a piece of garbage and she should rot in jail. People like that need to stay off the streets. It sickens me that I drive on the same road with people like her because I have two small children. She's lucky nobody else was hurt.

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6steelhead(125 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Every time a situation comes up where an unborn child (fetus) is killed, it points out the hypocrisy of the laws that govern this sort of thing. I have often wondered how any woman or man is charged with homicide of the unborn when the government has decided that a fetus is not a person. How do we differentiate? If it is homicide to kill the unborn with a car, shouldn't it be homicide to kill them with alcohol or drugs? Or a vacuum cleaner, scalpel, or any other tool?

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7WC(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I always thought justice came from the knowing the truth...not suppressing or manipulating it. Not much justice going on in that courtroom

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8whit1980(10 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

The judge wouldn't let the the evidence come in that the fetus was viable! Why was he keeping it out??? The fetus was viable and killed by the mother and the prosecutors had the evidence to prove that and it wasn't allowed to be used! There's another article on vindy with more facts...read that article, what happened doesn't make sense. I want answers!!!

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9db(280 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Looks like the judge is crooked and this case is fixed. Remember this when Krichbaum runs for re-election; this Valley has had enough crooks in office feeding at our trough.

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