Woodbine man charged in auto death of mother

April 01, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A Woodbine man, who Howard County police said drove a car off St. Michaels Road into a utility pole, killing his 75-year-old mother last week, was charged with vehicular manslaughter yesterday.

Charles Herbert Sexton, 47, of the 3900 block of Woodbine Road, was also charged with driving while intoxicated, homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated and driving without a license, according to county police.

He is being held at the Howard County Detention Center in lieu of $60,000 bail, said Sgt. Steven E. Keller, a police spokesman.

His mother, Leonia Frances Sexton, was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after the Friday night accident. She was pronounced dead at 1: 30 a.m. Saturday.

An 11-year-old nephew of the accused man who was also in the car was treated at Howard County General Hospital and released. Charles Sexton received minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment.

None of the car's occupants was wearing a seat belt, a fact that may have contributed to their injuries, Keller said.

"You never know, but certainly, you always want to believe that seat belts could have reduced the extent of the injuries," he said.

Keller said the incident was the county's first fatal accident involving drug or alcohol charges this year.

Police said the accident occurred just before 8 p.m. Friday. Sexton was driving a 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity station wagon in the 1300 block of St. Michaels Road -- just south of Hardy Road, between Lisbon and Mount Airy in the far western part of Howard County -- when the car veered off the road and struck the utility pole head-on.

The road was not wet and visibility was clear, Keller said, adding that there was no indication that the driver was speeding.

Neighbors were saddened by the news of Leonia Sexton's death.

Roy Delawder, who had lived next door to the victim for 25 years, said the elderly woman helped him and his wife, who suffered from arthritis.

"She'd come over and clean the house and fix some supper for me," Delawder said.

"She'd help you out if she could."

Pub Date: 4/01/97

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