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Intoxicated Westlaw Editor
Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

Posted by Jim Nichols
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
October 23, 2007

A Lakewood woman, employed as an editor for West Publishing Company's Westlaw,  admitted on Tuesday that she drunkenly drove the wrong way on the Jennings Freeway last March 27 and killed a man in a head-on collision.

Paige Bassett, 37, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and will face mandatory prison time -- between two and eight years -- at her Dec. 2 sentencing. Bassett killed Roger Harr, 60, of Brook Park, a widower who was on his way to his job as a security dispatcher for the Cleveland Municipal School District. With him were retirement papers he planned to file that day.

Shirley Jeung of Medina, Harr's sister-in-law, said she will ask Common Pleas Judge Steven Terry to impose the maximum sentence.

"Actually, I'd want more, but the law doesn't allow it,"Jeung said.

Bassett apparently drove down the freeway's West 14th Street exit ramp near Steelyard Commons, zoomed across three lanes and blasted into Harr's pickup with such force that his steering wheel was flush to the dashboard, said Cleveland Police Detective James McNamee.

She said she didn't remember much, and told police she had been drinking at Slam Jams, a former Flats bar that closed years before the wreck. Bassett was an editor for the legal publisher Westlaw at the time of the accident, and her demolished car was littered with pages from the Ohio Revised Code.