MOUNT VERNON — A Newark woman was sentenced by Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster to five years in prison for the death of her daughter following an automobile accident in which she was legally drunk.
Melissa Pursley, 27, Newark, was convicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Pursley was sentenced to a five-year prison term and her driver’s license was suspended for life.
Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher said on April 25 Pursley was driving her 1999 Pontiac Grand Am on Waterford Road when she failed to maintain control, ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree. Pursley’s 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was killed and her 5-year-old son, Devon, was seriously injured as the result of the crash. According to the indictment, Pursley’s blood alcohol level was 0.198 at the time of the crash.
Troopers Mason Boyce and Matthew Them, Ohio State Highway Patrol, investigated the crash.
Brian D. Jose, 27, Mount Vernon, was convicted of burglary, receiving stolen property and possession of criminal tools. Jose was sentenced to a 17-month prison term and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $140 to the victim.
Thatcher said on Feb. 6, when Jose was arrested for a traffic violation, several items in his vehicle matched the description of property stolen from a Columbus Road residence, and a crowbar used in the break-in was also in the vehicle.
Detective Sgt. Roger Brown, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case.
Joshua D. Bias, 32, Centerburg, was convicted of receiving stolen property and misuse of a credit card. Bias was sentenced to a two-year term of community control supervision and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,490.04 to the victim. Thatcher said store surveillance video shows Bias using a stolen debit card to make purchases totaling $1,334, on Dec. 4 and 5, 2009. Cpl. Beth Marti, Mount Vernon Police Department, investigated the case.