Falcon Posted July 9, 2009 Share Posted July 9, 2009 An Ohio Highway Patrol trooper pleaded not guilty this morning to a 147-mph speeding ticket after he learned that the judge intended to suspend his driver's license. Trooper Jason E. Highsmith, 35, was clocked at well in excess of double the 65 mph posted speed limit on the Licking Township portion of Interstate 70 on June 28. He was riding alongside a Gahanna Police officer whose speed was timed at 149 mph. Officer Christopher Thomas, 33, will be in court next week. Both men were riding 2008 Kawasaki motorcycles. During Highsmith's arraignment this morning at the Licking County Municipal Court, Highsmith appeared surprised when Judge David Branstool indicated he would be applying a "discretionary license suspension" in addition to the expected fine. Highsmith, who has no prior traffic violations in the past 12 months in Licking or Franklin counties, told the judge he was planning on resolving the minor misdemeanor today but changed his mind after Branstool answered his question on the maximum penalties. The trooper questioned why Branstool was applying a reckless operation statute when he had not been cited for that offense. "There is a discretionary license suspension if the operation is under reckless circumstances," Branstool said, adding the suspension could be six months to three years. Highsmith, who was speaking at a near whisper to Branstool, said that he was concerned a license suspension would affect his job. Highsmith is assigned to the patrol's Motorcycle Unit, which is headquartered at the Columbus District base. Branstool said the case would be set for trial. Highsmith declined to speak with media after the hearing concluded. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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