View a previous report when a grand jury indicted Demetris Ortega in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Columbus police officer has admitted to drinking and driving, as well as leaving the scene of a 2022 crash that killed a 27-year-old woman.
Demetris Ortega, 50, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a felony charge of not stopping after a crash and a misdemeanor drunk driving charge in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, according to court records.
The case stems from an April 20, 2022 crash, where investigators determined the CPD detective was under the influence of alcohol. Ortega was in a car that struck and killed Naimo Abdirahman while she was walking across Morse Road near Walford Street. A passenger got out of the car and told witnesses to call 911, then got back in and drove away from the scene, according to Columbus police.
Ortega was relieved of duty following the crash and was indicted in April 2023. According to the prosecuting attorney, Ortega was not charged with vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide due to a lack of evidence.
He was also previously relieved of duty but rehired after another OVI charge from a 2015 collision. He pleaded guilty in that incident in 2016, and the judge suspended his driver’s license for six months alongside handing the detective a suspended 180-day jail sentence.
Ortega faces up to three years in prison at sentencing. A judge could also suspend his driver’s license for up to three years each for the drinking or failing to stop charges, according to court records. His sentencing is scheduled to take place on Nov. 3.