Ex-Clark County teacher’s request for early release from prison denied

A former Clark County teacher imprisoned in connection with a hit and run that killed a man was denied early release.

Kristine Baggs’ defense team filed a motion requesting Clark County Judge Richard O’Neill to allow her to leave prison about six months into her two-year sentence. The motion was rebutted by the Ohio Attorney General’s office, who prosecuted her case, and finally denied by the judge.

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Baggs was sentenced in May in connection to the death of Lawrence “Larry” Mason, 45, of Medway. Baggs hit him with a vehicle on North Tecumseh Road and fled the scene in September 2016.

She pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor and failure to stop after an accident, a third-degree felony.

In the motion, the defense team says Baggs has made the best of her time while incarcerated.

“She has participated in all programs available to her, completed many hours of community service and has volunteered to teach other inmates,” the motion says. “With regard to her teaching, her supervising teacher has given straight nines out of tens for her performance and describes her as having ‘a vision for our classroom that has students learning each and every moment they are with us in the class.’”

Special Prosecutor Joel King wrote in a motion opposing the judicial release.

“The court’s sentence of 24 months is appropriate and should not be modified now because the defendant, while driving, struck and killed pedestrian Larry Mason, failed to stop after the accident and concealed her identity.

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“Moreover, Mr. Mason’s family is not in consensus on judicial release,” the motion says. “Mr. Mason’s family, through the victim advocate, advised that some members of the family support the defendant’s release, while others wish for the defendant to serve her full sentence. If Mr. Mason’s family supported judicial release, the state would not oppose.”

Baggs was a family and consumer science teacher at Kenton Ridge High School in Springfield. She resigned days after entering the guilty pleas.

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