By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — The Goshen driver in a crash that killed two bicyclists last year admitted his guilt Thursday in Elkhart Circuit Court.
Daniel Snead, 43, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death while driving while there was a controlled substance in his system.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Snead will serve 18 years in the Department of Correction, plus six years with the Elkhart County Community Corrections program. He will also serve six years on probation, and is set to pay restitution to the families of the dead cyclists.
Snead had faced up to 20 years in prison on each Class B felony charge.
The collision occurred in June on C.R. 20, just east of Pleasant Plain. Snead was driving west in a 2003 Ford Taurus that went left of center and struck bicyclists David Anglemyer, 18, Goshen, and Daniel Runion, 19, Osceola. Anglemyer and Runion died as a result of their injuries.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Snead tested positive for methamphetamine after the crash.
In court, Judge Terry Shewmaker asked Snead if he’d consumed meth, then drove a vehicle and caused the death of Anglemyer and Runion.
“Yes,” Snead replied through tears. Throughout the hearing, his head was often bowed toward the defense table where he sat with his attorney, Michelle Voirol.
Prompted by a question from Shewmaker, Snead said he suffered from depression and “post-traumatic something.” However, he indicated the conditions didn’t prevent him from understanding Thursday’s proceedings.
Snead is scheduled to be sentenced in Circuit Court Feb. 14.
role in robbery
In other proceedings Thursday, a Goshen teen was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in robbing a convenience store.
Andres M. Torres Jr., 17, will also serve three years on probation.
Torres was the getaway driver — a stoned and drunk one, by his admission — during the May 2012 armed robbery of the gas station at 224 N. Main St., Goshen. Another youth, Darius Thomas of Goshen, actually entered the store and pointed a firearm at a cashier. Thomas was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison for the crime, plus four on probation.
Days after the robbery, Goshen police were called to Thomas’ home in reference to a shooting. Investigators learned that Thomas had shot himself in the left foot with a pistol-gripped, sawed-off shotgun.
Police determined Thomas was involved in the gas station robbery. Further investigation led to Torres’ arrest.
Deputy prosecuting attorney David Franciso said Thursday the shotgun blast did horrific damage to Thomas’ foot.
“That could have easily been (the cashier’s) face,” he said.
Defense counsel Jeff Majerek said Torres’ family had high hopes for the young man, including him joining the Marines. Francisco highlighted a juvenile record for Torres that including being incorrigible, a runaway and getting expelled from school for fighting.
“The Marines are looking for a few good men,” he said, “not incorrigibles and thieves.”
In emotional testimony, Torres acknowledged that what he did was wrong.
“Out of this situation, I’m going to be a better man,” he said. “...I’m going to take my punishment, whatever you guys give me.”
Torres said he wanted to make his family proud of him. And several of his family members, including his mother, sisters and a cousin, were in the courtroom Thursday.
Shewmaker told Torres to apologize to his mother.
“Ma, you know I love you,” said Torres, turned to face the audience section. “And I know you were right.”
Judge Shewmaker also told Torres he had his whole life ahead of him.
“I hope you make a detour from the path you’re on,” he said.