12/17/15 – 5:09 A.M.
A Findlay man can withdraw his plea on a drunken driving charge, because it was originally entered by an imposter. The 3rd District Court of Appeals in Lima ruled on the issue recently.
The situation started on September 19 of 2012, when Fengxiao Tao was cited for OVI. However, it was actually Tao’s brother-in-law, Jing Lu, who was driving. Lu had Tao’s drivers licence with him at the time. Lu even appeared in court pretending to be Tao, and entered a no contest plea to the charge. According to court records, Tao didn’t report the fraud because Lu told him he would take care of the problem.
Tao tried to withdraw the plea this year, but the trial court said, “although it knew that Tao was not guilty of OVI, it nonetheless had to find that there was no manifest injustice since Tao engaged in conduct that amounted to fraud upon the court.” The appeals court disagreed with that ruling and has overturned it.
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