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Relatives of couple killed in car crash oppose man’s plea

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (AP) – An Ohio man charged in an eastern Indiana couple’s car crash deaths has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, but the victims’ relatives are pressing a judge to reject the deal.

Sixty-one-year-old John M. Petry of Kettering, Ohio, faces two counts of reckless homicide in the July 2013 deaths of Claude Hicks Jr, and his wife, Rhonda.

Petry’s car was traveling at 70 mph when it hydroplaned in a rainstorm and plowed into the Lynn couple’s car.

Claude Hicks Jr.’s sister, Louise Gregory, tells The Star Press she and other relatives will urge a Henry Circuit Court judge on March 19 to reject Petry’s proposed plea to two counts of criminal recklessness.

She says they’re especially upset Petry’s plea calls for his sentence to be served on home detention.

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