Man pleads guilty in fatal dragging

2013-03-04T12:08:00Z 2013-03-05T08:12:09Z Man pleads guilty in fatal draggingBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
March 04, 2013 12:08 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A Portage man pleaded guilty Monday to driving drunk Sept. 3, 2011 and killing a woman by running over her with his vehicle and then dragging her body more than a mile.

James Lohman III, 50, pleaded guilty to a Class B felony count of leaving the scene of an accident and a Class C felony count of driving drunk resulting in a death.

He faces six to 20 years behind bars on the B felony and two to eight years on the C felony if the proposed plea agreement is accepted by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford. Sentencing could be carried out May 6.

It will be up the judge to decide if the sentences run concurrently or consecutive, according to his public defender Peter Boyles.

Lohman, who remains in custody with a $250,000 bond, told Bradford on Monday he has had brain surgery and has suffered losses in skills including reading and writing.

Lohman, another person and a 14-year-old walked into the Shift Change Bar on U.S. 20 at Ind. 149 in Burns Harbor on the afternoon of the day in question after being involved in a fight at a home behind the bar, police said.

The teenager was asked to leave the bar, but off-duty bartender Sheri Jania, 45, found out about the fight and didn't want the group to leave the parking lot before police came to talk to them, police said.

Jania reportedly stood behind the car and Lohman is accused of running over her.

Jania was dragged and Lohman continued to drive after the woman became dislodged from underneath the vehicle, police said.

Portage police pulled over the older-model gold car near 375 W. Melton Road.

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