YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Boardman woman Thursday was sentenced to four years in prison for causing a four-vehicle crash in 2019 while driving drunk.
Rayven Ortiz, 26, received the sentence in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court from Judge John Durkin on charges of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and aggravated vehicular assault, both third-degree felonies; and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Ortiz was sentenced for a Nov. 5, 2019, crash at Market Street and Southern Boulevard. Police said she failed to pull over when an officer tried to stop her for a traffic violation and instead drove at speeds up to 80 miles per hour, said Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Kiraly.
Ortiz caused an accident with three other cars. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, Kiraly said.
The case was not indicted by a grand jury until August 2022. Kiraly said that was because investigators could not find Ortiz until she was arrested for two other OVIs in April 2022 and July.
Kiraly asked for a sentence of four years, saying that Ortiz’s other OVI charges show she is not capable of following the law.
“Clearly the defendant has not learned from her mistakes,” Kiraly said.
Because Ortiz was driving with a suspended license and pleaded guilty to OVI, she had to be sentenced to prison, but the amount of time was up to Judge Durkin.
Defense attorney Walter Ritchie asked for the shortest prison sentence possible, saying his client has never had a felony arrest before and works to support herself and her family. He said Ortiz acknowledges she has a drinking problem and wants treatment for it.
Ortiz apologized and said past childhood trauma has also contributed to her drinking problem. She said she has never been offered alcohol counseling before. She also said the strain of being the sole provider for her family after her mother died also drove her to drink.
“I don’t really think four years of my life is worth it,” she said.
One of the victims sent an email to the court asking for “mercy” and “forgiveness.”
Judge Durkin said he understands addiction and wants to help people, but when someone’s addiction threatens public safety, “it crosses the line.”
He also said he did not believe Ortiz was never offered rehabilitation before and with all the responsibilities she had, she should have asked for it.
“You are not going to be able to take care of [family] until you can take care of yourself,” Judge Durkin said. “You could’ve asked [for rehab]. You should’ve asked.”
The judge told Ortiz if she behaves herself in prison she is eligible for early release, and if she does get released early, he will try and tailor a probation program for her which includes alcohol abuse counseling.