Ohio driver who killed state trooper opts to stay in prison

COLUMBUS (AP) — A central Ohio man who killed a state trooper in a 2001 drunken-driving crash had to choose between serving five more months in prison, or getting out early and taking steps to address his drinking problem.

David Dye chose prison.

The 45-year-old Westerville man was in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday to ask for early release from a 2 1/2-year sentence for driving without a license and with an open container in 2012, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

His license was suspended for life, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2001 after he killed state Trooper Frank Vazquez while driving drunk on Interstate 270. It was Dye’s fifth conviction for DUI.

“If I could change any of my mistakes, I would,” Dye said in court Wednesday. “I just would like to have another chance to get my name back and to do the right thing.”

Dye’s attorney, Michael Miller, said his client has been a model prisoner, that he’s remorseful, and has a supportive family and job waiting for him.

Prosecutor Mark Sleeper questioned whether Dye had really dealt with his addiction and said he poses a danger.

Judge W. Duncan Whitney said that with early release, Dye would not be allowed to possess or consume alcohol for five years. He wouldn’t be allowed inside stores or restaurants that sold alcohol. He would have to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day for six months and then three times a week for the next 4 1/2 years.

“This court will be looking over your shoulder for five years,” Judge Whitney said before allowing Dye to choose.

Dye glanced to his parents for help and, in the end, said: “I’ll finish my sentence.”

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