CLEVELAND - The driver accused of hitting and killing an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper was in court Friday following his indictment by a Cuyahoga County grand jury. Prosecutors asked for an extra high bail amount because they say the suspect had taken a dose of methadone just 14 minutes before hitting and killing Trooper Kenneth Velez.
Joshua Gaspar, 37, of Columbia Station, was indicted on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of driving while under the influence.
His bond was set at one million dollars and in new documents filed in the case, prosecutors asked for the high bail because, "This Defendant received a dose of a schedule two narcotic, immediately got behind the wheel of a 4,300 pound car, and began speeding at high rates of speed along major public highways and tailgating vehicles until he collided into Trooper Velez fourteen minutes later. "
Prosecutors also cited Gaspar's prior driving convictions, including eight speeding violations, and his prior drug convictions in Ohio in 2008 and in Alabama in 2014.
"Due to the serious nature of the injuries that the Defendant caused, his reckless driving, his failure of field sobriety tests conducted on scene, and his criminal history, the State of Ohio requests that a high bond be issued in this case."
Gaspar hit Trooper Kenneth Velez, 48, on September 15th as Velez was standing outside his patrol car on I-90 near the Lakewood/Cleveland border. Gaspar's car swerved to avoid another vehicle and hit Velez, killing him.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for October 11.