The Warners are accused of leaving the scene of a two-vehicle crash in which they were involved in the early hours of Thursday, June 4 at the junction of Ohio 203 and Somerlot-Hoffman Road, according to a report from the Marion Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.
MARION — A Marion County judge and his wife have been indicted on felony charges for their roles in a hit-skip crash that injured a man.
Marion residents Jason D. Warner, 50, and Julia M. Warner, 53, are accused of leaving the scene of a crash with another vehicle early on June 4 at Route 203 and Somerlot-Hoffman Road, according to a report by the Marion Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol. A 19-year-old Marion man was injured; he was released from a hospital the next day.
Marion County Common Pleas Court records show that the Warners were indicted Wednesday on these charges: complicity to vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony; complicity to vehicular assault, a third-degree felony; complicity to leaving the scene of an accident, a fourth-degree felony; and complicity to tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
Prosecutors allege in the charge of complicity to leaving the scene of an accident that the Warners “knew that the accident or collision resulted in serious physical harm” to the other driver.
The charge of complicity to tampering with evidence alleges that the Warners, “knowing that an official proceeding or investigation was in progress, or was about to be or likely to be instituted, altered, destroyed, concealed, or removed” possible evidence.
Jason Warner is a common pleas judge elected in November 2018. He took a leave of absence effective Aug. 3.
The Ohio Supreme Court assigned former Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove to preside over the case. Cosgrove retired from the Summit County court in 2011 after 18 years on the bench. According to news reports, she has been assigned to numerous high-profile cases, including many involving elected officials.
Margaret B. Tomaro, senior assistant attorney general, has been assigned as a special prosecutor in the case.
According to the patrol’s report, the Warners’ vehicle struck the other vehicle just after midnight, causing it to veer off the road and hit a utility pole. The driver suffered a head injury and had to be mechanically extricated from the vehicle.
According to the report, the Warners left the crash scene, and then contacted the patrol’s Marion Post around 9:30 a.m. that day to report their involvement.
According to the judge’s biography on the Marion County government website, he attended Ohio State University and was a walk-on member of the football team for two years.