Man accused of videotaping teens in deadly crash pleads guilty

Man accused of videotaping teens in deadly crash pleads guilty
The teen driver was seriously injured, but the teen passenger died from his injuries. (Source: Lorain Police)
The teen driver was seriously injured, but the teen passenger died from his injuries. (Source: Lorain Police)

LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - In Lorain Municipal Court, the man who recorded a July car accident that killed a teenager, instead of trying to help, has pleaded guilty to his charges. The crash happened on Kansas Avenue and killed 17-year-old Cameron Friend.

On Tuesday, Paul Pelton pleaded guilty to vehicle trespass and disorderly conduct. The felony charges of bribery and intimidation were dropped as part of the deal.

In September, Lorain Police say Pelton went to the teen driver's residence and met with him while he was home alone. Pelton proposed that if the teen would tell police that he had permission to enter the vehicle, he would testify that police caused additional injuries to his friend. After the teen's mother filed a police report, an investigation was initiated.

Officers say 41-year-old Pelton was at the accident scene and allegedly opened the back door of the car and took cell phone video. He then walked around to the driver's side and videotaped the driver. Witnesses say Pelton made no attempt to help or comfort the boys. Pelton then posted the video on Facebook and tried to sell it to several news organizations.

In November, Lorain Police charged the driver, 17-year-old Zachary Goodin, with aggravated vehicular homicide, a felony of the third degree. The department's investigation revealed Goodin was joyriding over railroad tracks after he and Friend had been working out at the gym. Police believe Goodin recklessly caused Friend's death.

Pelton will be sentenced on Jan. 13.

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