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West Liberty, OH

Drunk driver pleads guilty in Austin Houser’s death

The woman who was charged for the alcohol-related hit-skip crash that killed Austin Houser (pictured right) last fall pleaded guilty before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark O'Connor Monday afternoon.

Cathy Humphries (pictured left), 49, of Rushsylvania, agreed to a plea deal. She pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide (F2), leaving the scene (F3), and a misdemeanor count of OVI.

In exchange for her plea, a third-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide and a misdemeanor charge of OVI were dismissed.

Humphries will be sentenced next month to a mandatory prison term. She faces a maximum sentence of 11 years. Her driver's license will also be suspended for life.

In December, she was charged for the hit-skip accident.

The Logan County Grand Jury indicted Humphries for two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide (F2, F3), two counts of OVI (M1), and a single count of leaving the scene of an accident (F3).

Authorities report that Humphries was drunk and under the influence of marijuana when the Ford Ranger (pictured) she was driving struck Houser as he was walking in the ditch along State Route 274 north of Rushsylvania on October 25th around five p.m.

Houser, 15, of 2690 Township Road 40, Rushsylvania, was reported missing by his mother, Ellenna Houser, on October 26th after he failed to show up for classes at Benjamin Logan.

A passerby found the teen's body along the ditch the following morning around ten o'clock.

About 30 minutes after the fatal crash, the sheriff's office responded to a Rushsylvania area residence where Humphries was staying with relatives.

Humphries was found unconscious in a bedroom. She was then transported to OSU Medical Center where she received treatment for three weeks.

Humphries' daughter told deputies that her mom was involved in an accident that afternoon and threatened to kill herself.

Detectives were able to match evidence at the scene with the Ford Ranger that was found at a residence on State Route 274 near Rushsylvania.

Humphries' blood alcohol level was .278, which is more than three times the legal limit.

Deputies were assisted by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Houser was a sophomore at Benjamin Logan.

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