On September 16th at 3pm 30-year old Robert Bauman plead guilty to Manslaughter in the 1st degree, Assault in the 4th degree and DUII. The case was heard before Judge Amanda Benjamin. Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Lynn Howard recounted what happened in the early morning hours of June 15th at about 2:50 am when Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies, the Toledo Fire Department, and Pacific West Ambulance responded to a report of an injury traffic crash on 1000 Line Road, in Toledo. 25-year old Nikolas Yost of Toledo was found partially ejected from the Ford F350 Truck and was deceased upon emergency personnel arrival. A survivor from the crash 22-year old Brendon Thomas of Toledo was found on the roadway.
DDA Howard said that Brendon reported they left a local bar and were planning to walk home. Bauman offered them a ride in exchange for some food at Food Fair. Brendon said Bauman changed directions after they left the store and said they were going for a joy ride. Both Brendon and Nikolas said no they were tired and just wanted to go home. He was driving too fast as he turned onto 1000 line road and again the two asked to be let out of the truck. Bauman was also taking drinks from a bottle of rum he had stashed under the seat of the truck. When they got toward the top they rounded what is known as "Dead Mans Curve" too fast and Bauman lost control of the truck.
The truck rolled two or three times before coming to rest about 300-feet down the steep hillside on its top. Brendon was ejected close to the top of the hill. He scrambled to the top and called 911. Brendon started calling to Nikolas and Robert to see if they were ok. He heard Bauman say "They can't know I was here, I can't go back to jail." Bauman was found in the brush along the roadway. When contacted Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies noticed he showed signs of impairment and was transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital along with Brendon for injuries sustained from the crash. When medically cleared Bauman was transported to the Lincoln County jail.
Three hours after the crash Baumans blood alcohol level was measured at .11, it was determined to be up to a .14 or .18 at the time of the crash. At the time of the crash Bauman was on post prison supervision for a meth charge. Prior to sentencing DDA Howard read a statement from Nikolas Yost's mother: "Your actions took away what Nik could have been. He won't ever get married, he won't be around for his family or for his niece and nephew. Your actions messed up many lives including your own family."
Bauman's attorney Guy Grecko told the court that his client was extremely remorseful and has grieved about what happened. He said the last thing his client remembers is being put in the truck and has no memory of what happened after that. Mr. Bauman spoke to the judge and said "I am very sorry. I wish I could take it back. I never intended to hurt anybody." He apologized to Nikolas' mother and sister.
Judge Benjamin addressed Nikolas' mom and sister and said the sentence being imposed is set by the court statute and is the most the law will allow. She addressed Bauman and said "what Mr. Yost and Mr. Thomas went through was a nightmare. They were frightened and told you multiple times that they wanted out of the truck." She added "you were only thinking about your own welfare. You seem remorseful but you have struggled with alcohol and substance abuse most of your life and have a history of non-compliance with mandated treatment programs and parole and probation." "Your record shows you knew the consequences of this type of behavior."
Bauman was sentenced to 10-years for manslaughter in the 1st degree, a measure 11 crime and 1-year for Assault in the 4th degree and DUII. He will get credit for the three months of time he has already served. After 9-more months in the local jail he will be transferred to the Department of Corrections to serve his 10-year sentence. He will not be eligible for any early release programs or sentence reductions. He was also ordered to pay fines and his license has been revoked for the rest of his life. DDA Howard said "this is a sad situation where everybody looses. The victims and their families along with Mr. Bauman and his family as he is loosing a big chunk of his life...and it was all preventable."