The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 25, 2013

Task Force nabs Ashtabula man in traffic death case

Sonny Ray Hatfield was sentenced in 2006 to serve eight years in prison

Star Beacon

CLEVELAND — An Ashtabula man who served time in connection with a 2006 traffic death was arrested Friday morning by members of a special law enforcement task force, officials said.

Sonny Ray Hatfield, 33, was found around 8:30 a.m. at an address in the 1600 block of East 48th Street, according to a statement from the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force. Hatfield had been sought by the Ashtabula Police Department in an assault case, while the Ohio Adult Parole Authority wanted him on a parole violation warrant issued Friday.

While Hatfield was being arrested, officers observed a loaded gun “in plain view” inside the address, a violation of Hatfield’s conditions for parole, according to a statement. A search warrant for the property was obtained, and officers discovered an estimated 10 grams of suspected heroin, according to the statement.

The drug discovery is being investigated by the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, according to the press release.

In 2006, Hatfield was sentenced to serve eight years in prison after being found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide. Prosecutors said Hatfield was behind the wheel of a vehicle involved in a traffic crash that killed Sharon Kingston in February 2004.

Hatfield’s arrest was made by members of the Task Force’s Painesville division, according to reports. The Task Force is comprised of members of many northeast Ohio law enforcement agencies, including county sheriff’s deputies, and North Kingsville, Ashtabula and Conneaut police departments.

Earlier in the day, the Task Force’s Cleveland office arrested two fugitives in that city who had been on the run since 2007.

“This was a very successful morning for our task force,” Drew Deserto, assistant chief deputy U.S. Marshal, said in the statement. “The arrest of Hatfield and confiscation of a firearm is a nice bonus to the day.”