Cuyahoga County

Sanford Doss Sentenced to Prison Term of 16 – 19.5 Years for Drunk-Driving Crash that Killed Two



CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that Sanford Doss, 31, was sentenced to a range of 16 to 19½ years in prison for causing the death of Arthur Gugick, 59, and Barbara Becker, 52, in Shaker Heights.

“This was a tragic case that sent shockwaves throughout the Beachwood community and beyond.  Although this case is now closed, the horrific effects will last forever,” said Prosecutor O’Malley.  “Our thoughts remain with the victims’ families, friends, and community as they continue to recover.”

On March 30, 2019, the victims ordered an Uber after attending the Cleveland International Film Festival.  The driver, David Caraballo, 46, picked them up and began to drive them home when Doss ran a red light and crashed into them near South Woodland Rd. and Warrensville Center Rd. in Shaker Heights.  Shaker Heights Police and EMS responded to the scene immediately.  Ms. Becker was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Mr. Gugick and Mr. Caraballo were transported to the hospital.  Mr. Gugick was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter and Mr. Caraballo was treated for severe injuries that included broken bones in his arm.  Doss was arrested on scene.

The investigation conducted by Shaker Heights Police, with assistance from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office and Cleveland Police, revealed that at the time of the crash Doss’ Blood Alcohol Concentration Level was over three times the legal limit.  The crash data retrieval report showed that Doss was speeding at 86 MPH five seconds before impact and 57 MPH at the time of impact, exceeding the posted 35 MPH limit.  Subsequent search warrants found three 375ml bottles of liquor inside his vehicle.

Doss pled no contest to indicted charges.  The court found him guilty on all counts which included:

4 counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
2 counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault
2 counts of Driving While Under the Influence

Doss was sentenced to a range of 16 to 19½ years in prison.  He was sentenced under a new law known as “The Reagan Tokes Law,” which went into effect on March 22, 2019.  The law implements an indefinite sentencing system for non-life felonies of the first and second-degree in which the judge imposes both a minimum term (from the current sentencing range) and a maximum term (that includes an additional 50% of the minimum term imposed).  The Ohio Department of Corrections will review the case and Doss’ behavior after he has served 16 years and will make a determination as to whether he should be released.  The most time he can serve is 19½ years.