LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to killing two people by driving a pickup truck into the lobby of an Ohio medical center a year and a half ago was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
Raymond Leiendecker, 46, of Baltimore, Ohio, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of murder in the September 2019 deaths at Diley Ridge Medical Center in Canal Winchester.
Fairfield County Common Pleas Judge David Trimmer sentenced him Friday to 15 years to life on each count in the deaths of patient Cindy Fritz and longtime hospital worker Scott Davis and ruled that the two sentences would run consecutively.
“While there was only one act of driving the truck into the building, there were still two people killed as a result of the action. No single term reflects the seriousness of that action,” Trimmer said, the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reported.
Authorities have said Leiendecker had undergone a psychological evaluation at the medical center before driving a pickup truck into the emergency department entrance. Sheriff Dave Phalen said he was upset about the evaluation and there’s no indication that he applied the brakes before crashing into the hospital.
After a dozen relatives and friends of the victims spoke about the impact of their loss, the judge said that he’s never seen a case with this much involvement. “Society lost two good members,” he said.
Before sentencing, Leiendecker apologized to the victims’ families and said he had tried to get help for his mental health before but had been turned away. He told Trimmer he didn’t want the sentences to run concurrently.
“I don’t want to be out in 15 years, I don’t deserve to be,” Leiendecker said.
Fritz’s daughter, Malory, said she “gave her everything to help make other people feel better, and didn’t save anything for herself.”
“She was 100% heart,” she said. “And now, without her, every day is a struggle. Everyone is struggling.”
Scott’s brother Jim said his brother picked the medical field because he wanted to help people.
“Scott was a sweet, loving, caring and gentle soul, he touched many lives. … He was the core of the family. It’s empty without him,” he said.
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