CLEVELAND — A man who had been on the run for nearly four years was arrested by U.S. Marshals on vehicular manslaughter charges stemming from a fatal crash on Interstate 71 in Wayne County, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.
Stephen Barnette, 31, was arrested Friday morning at a Newark, N.J., apartment by members of the U.S. Marshals New York New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to the news release from the Marshals office.
On Aug. 23, 2014 at 6:42 p.m., Barnette crashed the 1998 Ford Explorer he was driving southbound on I-71 near mile post 196 in Congress Township. The crash ejected Barnette’s two passengers — Martha Smith, then 22, and Destiny Curlee, then 19, both of Cleveland — from the car, according to a story in the Daily Record. Smith later died of her injuries. The Marshals release said Barnette had been driving recklessly.
According to the news release, authorities tracked Barnette from Ohio to New York and New Jersey.
"Barnette was on the run for nearly 4 years," Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said in the news release. "The officers involved in this investigation never gave up. We hope this arrest brings closure to the family of the victim."
The Ohio State Patrol was also involved in the case.
Check back with the Daily Record for more details to come.