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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A former Columbus police officer who admitted to killing a woman while drinking and driving received his sentence today in court.
A Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge sentenced Demetris Ortega to 18 months in prison for the death of 27-year-old Naimo Abdirahman in north Columbus. A Franklin County grand jury indicted Ortega on charges of failure to stop after an accident and operating a vehicle under the influence.
Ortega, who faced up to three years in prison, also received a 180-day sentence for the OVI charge, but it is to run concurrent with his first sentence. He also had his license suspended for three years.
According to prosecuting attorney Gary Tyack, Ortega was not charged with vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide due to lack of evidence because investigators could not determine with certainty that Ortega was at fault in the crash.
The case stems from an April 20, 2022 crash, where investigators determined the CPD detective was allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Ortega was in a car that struck and killed Naimo Abdirahman, 30, 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, who was relieved of duty following the crash, 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.