Testimony from an expert witness with a contrary view of Ohio’s drugged driving laws was admitted in an aggravated vehicular homicide trial against Curtis Hull.
On November 8, 2015, Chelsie Alaimo was crossing the street in Mount Vernon when she was struck and killed by a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer driven by Hull. Hull was reportedly impaired at the time of the incident, with high levels of marijuana, cocaine and heroin in his system.
Alaimo, who was 17, was also a senior at Mount Vernon High School. Following Alaimo’s death, students a Mount Vernon High School were notified of the death and told that counselors were present for anyone who needed assistance. Alaimo was an eight-year member of the band and four-year member of the Mount Vernon High School Marching Band. She was very active in many clubs and organizations at the High School.
The driver, Curtis Hull, was charged with one count of vehicular homicide, which is a second-degree felony; one count of operating a vehicle under a controlled substance, which is a first-degree misdemeanor; and three counts of operating a vehicle under the influence of a listed metabolite of a controlled substance, which is a first-degree misdemeanor. Hull was held in Knox County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond. At the time of his charging, Hull also had an unrelated felony possession of cocaine charge pending against him.
Hull was originally represented by Public Defender Brandon Crunkilton. Hull decided to hire his own attorney, after Crunkilton reportedly told him that he was “screwed.” Crunkilton withdrew as counsel on February 17, 2016. Since Hull did not obtain an attorney as of late April, 2016, he was assigned another attorney. Hull is being represented by Knox County Public Defender Bruce Malek. Malek became Hull’s attorney of record on April 28, 2016.
The Defense team filed a motion seeking to allow the testimony of Ohio State University college of pharmacy professor emeritus Alfred Staubus as an expert witness. Staubus has a Pharm.D. and a Ph.D. In addition to being an emeritus faculty member of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, Staubus is also is president of A & A Consultants, Inc. Staubus provides consulting and expert testimony in the area of forensic toxicology of alcohol and other drugs. He is a member of many professional and scientific organizations, including the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Society for the Scientific Detection of Crime of which he is a past president.
Curtis Hull is currently scheduled to be tried by Jury in Knox County Common Pleas Court beginning December 13. Hull faces up to eight years in prison on the aggravated vehicular homicide charge.
The motion was heard and the presiding judge determined that Staubus would be allowed to testify.