Jury Convicts Man in DUI Crash That Left Officer Paralyzed

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A jury in the Summit County Common Pleas Court has convicted a man of aggravated vehicular assault, DUI and hit-skip in an accident that left a Springfield Township police officer paralyzed.

Michael Plemons, 34, struck Officer Mark Dodez on March 31 while driving on South Arlington Road. During closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutors played a police interview in which Plemons admitted to having three beers and several shots before the crash. He later tested three times over the legal limit.

Plemons’ wife was the only defense witness called to the stand Wednesday. She testified that there was damage to her husband’s truck prior to the crash.

Prosecutors, however, insisted that alcohol impaired Plemons, who crossed left of center before hitting the officer.

Officer Dodez, who is the father of two young girls, took the stand Tuesday and testified that he would never again be able to do police work. The accident left Dodez paralyzed from the waist down.

Jurors got the case just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, returning a verdict after less than two hours of deliberating.

Plemons will be sentenced Thursday morning in Summit County Common Pleas Court.

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(Fox 8 News reporter Dave Nethers contributed to this report.)