Elederly woman sentenced for fatal accident

MIAMI COUNTY — A 77-year-old Tipp City woman will spend one year on probation and will forfeit her driver’s license for life for her role in a fatal motor vehicle accident last fall.

May E. Clingan, 77, of Tipp City, had entered pleas of no contest and was found guilty by the Miami County Municipal Court on two counts of second-degree misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. She was sentenced on Thursday by Judge Gary Nasal.

Her sentence included 90 days of jail for both counts, of which all was suspended. She was also ordered to undergo a mental health assessment, complete one year of probation as well as forfeit her driving privileges for life.

The accident, which resulted in the death of two people on a motorcycle, occurred around 4:15 p.m. Oct. 13 in the area of South County Road 25-A and State Route 571/West Main Street in Tipp City. According to Tipp City Police Department reports, witnesses to the crash said Clingan was the driver who reportedly “had run a red light and struck the motorcycle.” Clingan was traveling west on State Route 571/West Main Street. According to initial reports, Clingan stated the motorcycle was traveling east and had turned left in front of her.

The driver of the motorcycle, William C. Gates, 70, of Sidney, was deceased at the scene, according to a press release from the Tipp City Police Department. His passenger, Vonna L. Williams, 66, of Piqua, was transported by Tipp City EMS to Grandview Hospital in Dayton, where she later died from her injuries.

In other news:

• Kevin Ashley, 47, of Dayton, was sentenced to serve six years in prison for his role in a multi-county theft ring.

Ashley entered a plea of guilty to multiple felony counts including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools, vandalism, safe cracking, theft and receiving stolen property charges. He was sentenced on June 3 by Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall. His sentence included 78 months in jail with 474 days of jail credit.

Ashley was ordered to pay restitution to Kay Jewelers for $147,555.39 and Check Into Cash for $3,011.83.

Approximately 13 businesses, two businesses in Troy, were involved in the theft ring, including Harris Jewelers and Check Into Cash. Ashley and three other co-defendants allegedly stole $150,000 worth of jewelry, watches and equipment from Harris Jewelers in a break-in reported in October 2017. The suspects in that incident gained entry through the roof to the jewelry store. Other jewelry stores and businesses in the Miami Valley were also targeted in the multi-county theft ring.

Co-defendant Jesse Spurlock, 46, of Tipp City, was sentenced to serve eight years in prison and pay $11,612.19 to Home Depot in Piqua and $26,315.55 to Harris Jewelers on Feb. 13, 2020; Kenneth Evans, 42, of Dayton, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Dec. 12, 2019; Michele Gue, 48, of Dayton, was sentenced to serve five years of community control on June 12, 2020; Markus Gates, 38, of Dayton, was named as a co-defendant in the indictment and his case was dismissed on May 16, 2019.