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Sentencing for man who pleaded guilty in death of retired Lilly scientist

Victim was hit while riding his bike
Terry, Robert.jpg
Posted at 3:33 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 15:38:32-04

GREENFIELD — The driver who pleaded guilty to killing a retired Eli Lilly scientist as he was riding his bike in the country was sentenced Monday.

40-year-old Robert Terry appeared in Hancock Superior Court in Greenfield where he received a nine-year sentence for the August 2019 death of 76-year-old Rodger Wellenreiter Of Greenfield.

Three-years of Terry's sentence will be state prison, another three will be served In Hancock County Community Corrections Work Release, and the remainder was suspended with Terry on probation.

Under a plea agreement, Terry pleaded guilty to one count of causing death when operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body.

Rodger Wellenreiter of Greenfield, was riding his bike in the country northwest of Greenfield when a Dodge Caravan came up from behind and hit the bike. He died at the scene.

Terry, who is from Greenfield, tested positive for illegal drugs, following the crash. According to a probable cause document from the Hancock County Prosecutor, Terry was driving the minivan on County Road 300 North. He stayed at the crash scene and was tested by a member of the Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash Team, Detective Matt Fox.

Terry told Fox he hit the bike while looking down at the dashboard to see what his speed was. Terry said he was traveling 50 miles-per-hour. "While speaking with Terry, I observed his speech was slurred, he was lethargic and had poor manual dexterity," according to Detective Fox, who also said Terry's eyes were bloodshot and glossy.

The probable cause document said Terry, when asked, denied using illegal narcotics. But when taken to Hancock Regional Hospital, he tested positive for THC and methamphetamine.

Authorities also found that Terry was driving on a suspended license.