Driver sentenced to 12 months on related charges for crash that killed trooper

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CLEVELAND - A man involved in a crash that killed an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 90 has been sentenced to 12 months, but received credit for 6 months served.

Joshua Gaspar, 37, faced multiple counts in connection with the Sept. 15, 2016 crash that claimed the life of Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez. The 48-year-old trooper was outside his cruiser on I-90 in Cleveland when he was hit.

The charges included misdemeanor counts, including driving on a suspended license.

A Cuyahoga County jury found Gaspar not guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and tampering with records. He was convicted of driving under a suspended license, certain acts prohibited, a separate count of tampering with records and falsification.

He has been in jail since he was convicted last month. A jury convicted him following a 12 day trial.

Gaspar's attorney Jonathan Sinn, had said his client took a prescribed amount of methadone at the doctor’s office, while battling an opioid addiction. He maintains his client was not impaired.

"The truth is that this was an accident," Sinn has said. "He received a prescribed dose of methadone."

Velez's family was disappointed following the verdict.

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