Repeated drunk driver with suspended license caught behind the wheel
WEST JEFFERSON,OHIO —
He's a repeat drunk driver with a suspended license, and just hours away from being sentenced for his role in a fatal crash. So why was he behind the wheel?
Timothy Castle's license was suspended after a drunk driving crash in 2014. It was an accident that Debbie Meadows' family believes took her life.
'6 On Your Side' was in Castle's neighborhood last week, and watched as Castle drove down the block and pulled into his driveway. Two young boys were in the backseat. Castle then denied he was driving the car.
"I thought you weren't supposed to be driving," asked 6 On Your Side. "That the judge suspended your license?"
"I'm not driving ma'am," answered Castle.
"How did the car get here?"
"It's been here."
Castle will be sentenced Tuesday for driving drunk, but not for the death of Debbie Meadows.
Back in 2014, Meadows was driving home after dinner with friends. Castle was also on the road when police said he slammed into her car at Wilson and Trabue Roads.
The original coroner's report said Meadows died from injuries she suffered in the crash, but current Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz, in an extremely rare move, changed the cause to natural: cancer.
That happened in December, a year-and-a-half after the original death certificate was issued. The change meant the more serious charge of vehicular homicide was dropped.
Castle pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in January. Dawn Call, who was Meadows' future daughter-in-law, said the family doesn't believe Castle is sorry for any of it.
"He's just acting like this is not severe," said Call. "It is and he doesn't not understand that."
Due to the time he served in the months after the crash, Castle's sentence could be just days instead of months behind bars.
The Meadows family said they've reached out to Ortiz to find out why she changed the death certificate, but she hasn't returned their repeated calls. Ortiz has also refused ABC 6/FOX 28's interview requests.
After seeing the developments in the Meadows case, State Representative Larry Householder introduced a bill on Monday that would require coroners go before a judge to change the cause of death on a death certificate.
He said there's currently no obligation for a coroner to explain how or why he/she changed a death record.