Rodeo Bar owner in court

The Rodeo Bar and Grill owners appeared in court Friday, March 7 for possession of illegal substances found in the bar after a search related to the I-280 wrong way crash.
The Rodeo Bar and Grill owners appeared in court Friday, March 7 for possession of illegal substances found in the bar after a search related to the I-280 wrong way crash.
Michael Gagnon at a court appearance in January.
Michael Gagnon at a court appearance in January.

OREGON, Ohio --  After police say Michael Gagnon drove the wrong way down I-280, state agents decided to search the bar he's accused of driving from. They say they found illegal substances at Rodeo Bar and Grill, and the owner took full responsibility in court Friday, March 7.

News 11's Lisa Rantala joins us with the new details.

Agents found human growth hormone and syringes in a filing cabinet at the bar in January.

At first, the three bar owners, Glen Murdzia, Michael Yousif and Jon Roumaya faced charges of permitting drug abuse and possession of a dangerous drug.

In court Friday, owner Jon Roumaya pled no contest to possession. The drug abuse charge against him was dropped along with the charges against Murdzia and Yousif.

Roumaya will be sentenced next month and could face six months behind bars and a $1000 fine.

We're told the charge could effect the business when the owner tries to renew his liquor license in June.

Criminal charges of liability could also come against the bar owners within the month.

The case against the bar owners stemmed from the fatal crash on I-280 last December. Police say Michael Gagnon attended a family Christmas party at Rodeo Bar and Grill. They say it was his cousin's bar. After having several drinks, Gagnon left. Police say he drove the wrong way down the expressway, causing the crash that killed a mother and four kids.

Gagnon attorney files for an extension

In a related story, an attorney for Michael Gagnon needs more time. A judge set Friday, March 7 as the deadline for any pre-trial motions in the case. Gagnon's attorney filed a motion for an extension and plans to file more motions next week.

Police say Gagnon's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit when he drove the wrong way down I-280 crashing into the Griffin family mini van.

The trial is set for April.

Posted by LS