A Macomb County resident was recently sentenced to serve 9-15 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges stemming from a drinking and driving hit and run which caused the death of a pedestrian. The defendant plead no contest to failing to stop at the scene of an accident, manslaughter with a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle while impaired causing a death. The charges of manslaughter with a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle while impaired causing a death carry a maximum of 15 years in prison. However, the defendant avoided a second degree murder case which could carry up to life in prison.
The case arises out of an incident which occurred on May 9, 2010. A man who left Gino’s Surf in Harrison Township struck a pedestrial walking along the side of the road. The accident was not reported until approximately 12 hours after the accident. Based upon the information provided, the police eventually found the victim in a ditch where the driver said he thought the accident occurred.
When the driver voluntarily turned himself in at the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department, he did not have any alcohol in his system according to an article in the Macomb Daily on July 14, 2010. However, the Macomb Prosecutor’s office was prepared to present witnesses who could testify as to the driver’s intoxication when he left Gino’s.
The factors influencing the sentence are discussed in another Macomb Daily article on March 31, 2011. Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Diane Druzinski exceeded the sentence guideline range from 4-8 years to 9-15 years because the drunk driver did not report the accident immediately which significantly reduced any chance for the victim to get medical attention which could have saved his life.