Man Charged in Rt. 7 Fatal Accident Waives Preliminary Hearing

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 The man charged with one felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide after a fatal accident on Ohio Rt. 7 last week appeared in court Wednesday

Richard LaPorte, 36, appeared before Judge Chris Berhalter Wednesday morning in Northern Division Court in Belmont County. During the hearing, on behalf of LaPorte, his attorney waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The waiver is due to the fact that LaPorte lives and works out of Massachusetts.

The accident happened the night of Nov. 14 when police say LaPorte was making an illegal U-turn in West Wheeling causing 71-year-old Edward Hall to hit the commercial vehicle, driven by LaPorte, killing him on the scene. 

Now further court proceedings are placed on hold as the Belmont County Grand Jury reviews evidence in this case.

“This matter is now bound over to the Belmont County Grand Jury for them to make a determination as to what charge, if any, should lie from the evidence,” Berhalter said.

LaPorte will remain out of jail after posting bond in the amount of $10,095 following the accident. He has been ordered to obey all terms of probation imposed by the Belmont County adult probation board as this case moves forward and he remains home in Massachusetts.

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