(1-28-21) Ashley McKee (37) of Van Wert, was sentenced to a year in prison on each of two counts of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer (fleeing and eluding)., both are third degree felonies. Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Judge Martin Burchfield ordered that both sentences are to run consecutive to one another. McKee was give credit for 123 days already served.

During the hearing McKee entered not guilty pleas to five additional felonies based on a recent indictment for a February 20th, 2020 death of Katie Zimmerman

  • involuntary manslaughter, first degree felony
  • corrupting another with drugs, second-degree felony
  • complicity, second degree felony
  • conspiracy, a third-degree felony
  • trafficking in a Fentanyl-related compound, fifth degree felony

Due to McKe’s incarceration on the above charges, an unsecured personal surety bond was set in the case, with a telephone pretrial conference scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, February 16.


Katie Renee Zimmerman, 34, of Van Wert passed away at her residence on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

Born on November 17, 1985, in Van Wert, the daughter of the late Roger Lee Zimmerman and Julie (Harting) Hunter who survives in Van Wert.

Katie was a graduate of Van Wert High School

Katie enjoyed her country music, Mack Arena Bullriding, bonfires, good times with her friends and loved being outdoors. Most importantly, she loved spending quality time with her son, Elijah.

Surviving are her mother, Julie (Harting) Hunter of Van Wert; her son, Elijah Lawrence Zimmerman of Van Wert; her grandfather, Lawrence Harting of Van Wert; a sister, Anna May Ricker of Marion, Ohio; a brother, Brian (Penelope) Zimmerman of Van Wert; her fiance`, John Ashbaugh of Van Wert; and four step sisters.

In addition to her father, Katie was preceded in death by her grandmother, Charlotte Harting.