Salineville woman receives probation for obstruction of justice | News, Sports, Jobs


LISBON – A woman who initially lied to police about her husband’s whereabouts the night of a fatal accident in October 2021 was given probation on Monday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction to justice.

Ruth White, 62, State Route 164, Salineville, appeared in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court before Judge Megan Bickerton for the plea hearing. She was originally scheduled to face a jury trial on February 7, with a status hearing on January 30, on two counts of fifth-degree obstruction of justice.

Ruth White’s husband is Donald E. White, 65, who had been charged with multiple crimes related to the October 23, 2021 crash that claimed the life of 13-year-old Aidan Wollman. Aidan and a friend were cycling on State Road 164 just south of Beeson Mill Road when a truck driven by Donald E. White hit Aidan from behind.

Bickerton sentenced him to a mandatory 14-year prison term after a jury found him guilty of aggravated driving homicide, felony third degree, two counts of non-arrest after an accident, of a second degree felony and a third degree felony. , and possession of cocaine, a fifth degree felony.

Bickerton followed Assistant County Attorney Steve Yacovone’s recommendation in placing Ruth White under two years of community supervision.

“She was going to cooperate with us and testify against her husband,” said Yacovone.

He said she ended up not having to testify for evidentiary reasons because the prosecution had what it takes for a conviction without her, but he said she had good information and that she was willing to cooperate. This cooperation led to the plea agreement.

Hours after the accident, she told investigators she was staying with a nephew, but her demeanor changed when she learned of the death. She admitted that he left their Salineville home in his truck and that her son picked him up and drove him home. He had abandoned his truck, which investigators found with damage to the front.

Yacovone said there was evidence that Ruth White knew nothing of the death until investigators came to their home and told her.

Bickerton sentenced Donald E. White to eight to 12 years in prison for second-degree felony charges for failing to stay the charge, 60 months for homicide, and 12 months for possession of cocaine. The other failure to arrest the charge was merged with the first for sentencing. She ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, for a mandatory 14-year period, with the possibility of an additional four years if the parole board wishes, for a possible total of 18 years. His driver’s license was suspended for life.

“We are happy with the result we got on him. Our main concern was to obtain a guilty verdict against Donald White,” said Yacovone.

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