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Man convicted of drinking and driving in fatal accident case

A Michigan man has been convicted in connection with a drunk driving crash that left a young couple dead in October. The defendant, age 27, was convicted of drunken driving causing death by jurors in Grand Rapids. Three guilty verdicts were returned in connection with the OWI charges. The defendant will be sentenced in mid-May. He could face up to 15 years' prison time in connection with the wreck.

Jurors agreed that the man's drunk driving was to blame for the deaths of a 23-year-old man and his 20-year-old girlfriend. The pair had been out on a date when they were struck and killed in the wreck near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The accident occurred when the defendant reportedly ran a red light, striking the victims' vehicle and pushing it into the way of an oncoming tractor-trailer rig.

Reports show that the driver's blood alcohol content level measured at 0.125 percent shortly after the crash. The defendant was also reportedly intoxicated on morphine and amphetamines. Interestingly, the jury in this case cleared the man from responsibility for the other driver's death, as that man reportedly also had alcohol in his system. Instead, the man was convicted of causing the woman's death, which still carries hefty penalties.

News reports show that the man's sentence could actually exceed the traditional 15-year maximum sentence because he has prior convictions. It is not clear whether those prior violations related to OWI charges. Criminal defendants with a criminal history may need to employ special legal strategies in order to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in their cases. A Michigan attorney may be able to provide additional information about these legal options.

Source: WZZM, "Kentwood man convicted of drunken crash that killed two" John Hogan, Apr. 21, 2014

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