'Habitual' Drunk Driver Indicted for Crash that Killed His Wife

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

December 5, 2019

Ohio man facing 13th OVI charge after single-vehicle crash kills wife

An Ohio man has been indicted for the death of his wife who was killed in an October car crash and is now facing his 13th OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Under the Influence) charge.

Robert Ellis, 53, of Columbus, Ohio, was indicted on four charges on Monday, stemming from a car crash on Oct. 16. Authorities say Ellis was driving around a curve when he struck a utility pole in Prairie Township, located about 14 miles west of Columbus, Ohio. His 51-year-old wife, Dawn Ellis, was killed in the crash, according to a statement from Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin. Neither Robert or Dawn Ellis were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

“While investigating this fatal traffic crash it was very clear to investigators that Mr. Ellis is one of the worst habitual repeat offenders of drunk driving we have seen,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. "He has no regard for human life continuing to be an extreme danger to the motoring public due to his criminal behavior of operating vehicles while impaired. It is further evident in this case in which he caused the death of his wife while having a blood alcohol of .185, which is more than double the legal limit,”

This is the 13th time Ellis has been charged with an OVI offense, the sheriff's department said. Ellis' license had been suspended at the time of the incident. Ellis was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, a first-degree felony, aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony, operating a vehicle under the influence, a third-degree felony, and another operating a vehicle under the influence, a third-degree felony, for being a repeat offender, the press release stated.

Dawn Ellis' daughter, Bobbi Spencer, told WCMH that she feared for her mother's safety due to Robert's alcohol use.

"I’m so happy he’s behind bars so he cannot put anyone else’s family through what he’s put us through," Spencer said. "But it’s still never gonna take the pain away that he’s caused all of us."

Photo: Franklin County Sheriff's Office

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