WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man was sentenced Tuesday on his plea of guilty to four counts of felonious assault against local residents, receiving a minimum stated prison term of 20 years.
Judge R. Alan Corbin, retired and sitting by assignment, sentenced Justin R. Lemmings, 20, to a minimum term of five years in prison on each count, all four counts to run consecutive.
Each charge (a felony 2 offense) is connected to each of the victims — Ashley Davis of New Vienna and her three young daughters.
On May 28, 2019, only hours from being released from juvenile probation, Lemmings drove under the influence. Following his arrest Lemmings tested at a 0.114 alcohol level and was positive for THC. THC is the main mind-altering chemical in marijuana, responsible for most of the intoxicating effects that people seek, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Witnesses called police reporting that Lemmings, after yelling at his vehicle occupants, drove his vehicle from the Wilmington Kroger parking lot at a high rate of speed. He reportedly ran through multiple stop signs, and was speeding and running red lights on Rombach Avenue in Wilmington.
Other occupants of Lemmings’ vehicle, who later gave statements to officers, reported Lemmings was acting enraged and refusing to stop and pull over. A passenger in his vehicle stated that even as they begged Lemmings to stop he threatened to kill everyone in the vehicle.
Lemmings’ vehicle was determined to be traveling at a speed of 97 mph five seconds before running a red light at an intersection and striking Davis’ vehicle.
The collision was so violent that the imprint of Lemmings’ front license plate can be seen in the frame of Davis’s crushed vehicle, according to Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Andrew T. McCoy.
All occupants of the Davis vehicle were injured and Ms. Davis and one daughter were transported by medical helicopter to a hospital. Ms. Davis, who was listed in critical condition after incurring several serious injuries that required surgery, was able to return home after undergoing physical therapy.
At the sentencing hearing Tuesday, prosecution referenced recorded jail calls that prosecutors say demonstrate Lemmings lack of remorse.
In these phone calls, the defendant spoke disparaging of victims’ families, talked about how he can fake tears, and threatened to assault witnesses who gave statements to law enforcement, according to the county prosecutor’s office.
In a release to the news media, McCoy said, “The Davis Family has shown resiliency and strength through this case. While Lemmings’ name will quickly fade from our community’s collective memory, what will last and not be forgotten is the bravery of Ms. Davis and three incredible little girls.”
Judge Corbin cited Lemmings’ prior criminal and juvenile record when sentencing, along with the defendant’s demeanor and attitude about the case.
“I do not make any findings of genuine remorse … he indicated he was sorry and asked for forgiveness. But I think some of the actions that were set forth in the pre-sentence investigation report and some of the other information that was presented [by Assistant Clinton County Prosecutor Katie Wilkin] in regards to some of the phone calls at the jail and some other statements that were made would indicate remorse was not genuine,” said Corbin.
Lemmings was granted credit for 568 days he had already spent incarcerated in jail, and his driver’s license is suspended from three years to life.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Katie Wilkin represented the State of Ohio throughout the prosecution of the case.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.