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Bond reduced for man charged in death of Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper

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Posted at 2:14 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 15:05:29-04

The bond for a man accused of hitting and killing an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper was reduced Tuesday.

Joshua Gaspar is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence in connection with the death of trooper Kenneth Velez. 

Gaspar, 37, of Columbia Station, had his bond reduced from $1 million to $500,000, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. 

Velez, 48,  was conducting traffic enforcement about 1 p.m. when he was hit outside his cruiser on the highway. He was a 27 year veteran of the force and a father of three. 

An attorney for Gaspar, Jonathan Sinn, filed a motion Friday to a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge asking for a bond reduction citing Gaspar's upbringing in Cleveland. Sinn also cited a letter from a doctor who said was on prescription drugs at the time of the crash and not an illegal substance. 

"When the present case commenced, it was widely reported that Mr. Gaspar was under the influence of illegal drugs; however, that was not the case," Sinn wrote. "Dr. [Richard] DeFranco had Mr. Gaspar’s blood tested the day after the incident at hand, and reported that the drug screen was negative for all drugs of abuse and contained only his prescribed therapeutic dose of methadone."

In the motion, Sinn said Gaspar's residence and the letter should be considered in decided whether bond should be reduced. 

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