Delay in civil case doesn’t affect jail time

LISBON – A delay in a civil case did not affect a truck driver’s sentence in a criminal case.

Michael P. Bair, 32, of Poland, convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the death of David Mayfield, had been scheduled to give a deposition last week in a civil suit brought by Mayfield’s widow. He was then scheduled to report to jail the following day to begin serving a 90-day sentence.

However, Bair’s attorney filed a motion that delayed the civil suit.

Attorney Melvin F. O’Brien filed a motion in Common Pleas Court claiming a conflict has arisen. The Steubenville attorney said he will no longer be able to defend Bair, Sebastiani Trucking and Daniel Sebastiani, all named defendants in the civil case.

In the motion it noted a change in counsel necessitates the postponement of discovery depositions scheduled in the civil case.

Columbiana County Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost had ordered Bair to begin a 90-day jail sentence on Friday evening, following the taking of the civil deposition.

However, Frost said the postponement of the deposition did not change the jail sentence he imposed for Bair. Instead, Frost said when he was contacted about the matter by Nick Amato, an attorney for David Mayfield’s widow, Frost ruled Bair can be released for four hours on May 17 in order to complete his deposition in the civil case.

Bair reported to the county jail and is scheduled for a review hearing 45 days after his sentence begins with Frost indicating he will consider setting probation terms and allowing Bair to be released at that point.

Bair was the driver of a dump truck which reportedly clipped one vehicle before overturning onto another on March 13, 2012 contributing to the death of the other driver Mayfield.