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On Yet Another Drunk-Driving Charge for Him, a Fatality

Robert Lee Ellis' wife is killed in accident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2019 12:50 PM CST
Robert Lee Ellis.   (Franklin County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Robert Lee Ellis already had 36 driving suspensions and at least a dozen operating under the influence charges when, while still under an active driving suspension, he allegedly crashed his car while drunk—killing his wife. Dawn Ellis, 51, was a passenger in the 53-year-old's Ohio man's car when he hit a utility pole in Prairie Township Oct. 16, NBC News reports. She was declared dead at the scene, and her husband was allegedly found to have a blood alcohol level of .185, more than twice the legal limit. "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 says in a statement. "He has no regard for human life." The sheriff also says Ellis "didn't show much remorse" over his wife's death.

He was indicted Monday on four charges, two each of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence. Neither husband nor wife was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Dawn Ellis' daughter tells WCMH she had previously been scared her mother might be hurt by her husband's lifestyle. "I’m so happy he’s behind bars so he cannot put anyone else’s family through what he’s put us through," she says. "But it’s still never gonna take the pain away that he’s caused all of us." Another daughter tells ABC 6, "I was so happy and relieved to find out that they got him, that he's for one off the streets because he was free this whole time, and two he can't hurt anybody else." (Read more drunk driving stories.)

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