Columbiana County recorder tentatively OKs plea deal to charges in man’s death

CANFIELD — Columbiana County Recorder Theresa Bosel has indicated she is willing to accept a plea deal in a 2019 traffic-fatality case that will come with a recommended sentence of 30 days house arrest.

The bailiff for Mahoning County Municipal Court Judge Molly Johnson said Bosel’s attorney advised them she has tentatively accepted the plea deal she rejected at an Aug. 28 hearing. Bosel had been given until Friday to reconsider after she asked to see the offer in writing from the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office.

Bosel is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and driving left of center for allegedly causing the Aug. 18, 2019, traffic accident that claimed the life of 69-year-old Cecil Chamberlain, who lived in California with his children but also spent some of the year at his Salem area farm.

Bosel was driving on Western Reserve Road in Mahoning County when her Jeep Wrangler reportedly went left of center, striking a GMC Terrain.

The Wrangler also struck a Ford Fusion driven by Chamberlain, who died from his injuries. His wife, Roberta, was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital. Neither Bosel nor the driver and passenger in the Terrain were injured.

The vehicular manslaughter charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 90 days in the county jail and $750 fine.

Under the deal offered by assistant Mahoning County prosecutor Mike McBride, Bosel would plead guilty as charged, and he would recommend she be sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and fined $500. Her license would be suspended for two years, but she could apply for restricted driving privileges during that period.

A hearing to accept Bosel’s plea is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 25. Attorney Greg Rossi, who represents the Chamberlains, made it clear at the Aug. 28 hearing the family wants to be heard at any sentencing hearing, and they believe Bosel deserves the maximum sentence.

Judge Johnson told Bosel at the Aug. 28 hearing she is not bound by the plea deal and on occasion has deviated from the sentencing recommendation.

That sometimes has resulted in harsher or lesser sentences for defendants.



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