CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – A dump truck driver who was a no-show for his arraignment in March on charges of vehicular manslaughter was arraigned on those charges Tuesday and now faces charges in another case.
Jason Beard, 38, is charged in connection with the death of Daniel Ripepi.
He faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter in that case.
Beard’s truck bed was not lowered when he was driving on I-480 in September 2020.
The bed knocked down an overhead highway sign.
Editor’s Note: The video below is previous coverage on this story.
The sign fell on the truck Ripepi was driving.
Ripepi was killed.
Ripepi was a married father of six and vice president of A. Ripepi & Sons Funeral Home.
In court Tuesday, the prosecution detailed that Beard also faces kidnapping charges.
According to the prosecution, when Beard did not show for his arraignment in March, he was actually in Mexico with his 8-year-old son.
The child’s mother filed a missing person’s report and the state says kidnapping charges were filed at that time.
Beard finally returned to the U.S. with the help of the US Marshals office, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors argued Beard was a proven flight risk.
Anthony Ripepi, Daniel Ripepi’s brother, also addressed the court on the issue of bond.
“Mr. Beard has disrespected this court and disrespected my family,” Anthony Ripepi told the judge.
The judge ordered a $100,000 bond in the Ripepi case and a $200,000 bond in the kidnapping case.
Not guilty pleas were entered on Beard’s behalf.
Beard has been ordered to surrender his passport. He’s also been given GPS home detention.
Beard is scheduled for pretrial on April 20.