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Fifth trial date set in Haines case

JACKSON — For the fourth time since March the trial of an Oak Hill man accused of vehicular homicide in the death of a South Point child has been postponed.

The jury trial for Christopher Haines, 31, was scheduled to begin this week in the courtroom of Jackson County Common Pleas Judge Leonard F. Holzapfel. However, upon a motion by Haines’ attorney, James. T. Boulger, the trial has been postponed. A new date of Jan. 30 has been set.

Boulger from Ross County replaced public defender W. Scott Sabo, who had represented Haines.

In December, Haines was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on State Route 93, when that vehicle rear-ended a car driven by Marsha McGinnis of South Point.

McGinnis’ car was stopped in the southbound lane of the highway at the 10-mile marker. Her car then skidded left of center where it was struck by a car driven by Deborah Miller of Columbus. Miller was northbound on State Route 93 at the time.

McGinnis’ 10-year-old daughter, Angel, was a passenger in her car. The child died at Cabell Huntington Hospital later that day.

In January, Haines was indicted on one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of aggravated vehicular assault. The trial was originally set for March, but has been rescheduled four times.

In August Jackson County Prosecutor John T. Detty asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed because of a conflict of interest. Paul Scarcella and Emily Pelphrey from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office were appointed.

A pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 14. Haines remains in the Jackson County Jail under a $100,000 bond.

In June McGinnis and members of her family filed a civil lawsuit against Haines and Geico Insurance Co. A pre-trial hearing is set for Nov. 30 in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.