In November of 2012, an accident occurred in Geneva Township on County Road 388 which resulted in the deaths of three people. David Johnson, the alleged drunken driver who is said to have caused the crash, recently pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, and one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death. As part of his plea agreement, Johnson will now spend a minimum of 19 1/2 years in prison, according to a news article at Mlive.com.
Killed in the crash which occurred when Johnson collided head-on with the victim’s vehicle were 24-year-old Brittney King, 4-year-old Cassadi Berryhill, and 2-year-old Kandice Berryhill. Johnson’s BAC was found to be 0.32 percent at the time of the crash, which is four times the legal limit in Michigan for driving.
Johnson originally faced charges which included two counts each of second-degree murder and OWI causing death, one count of driving while license suspended causing serious injury, and three counts of driving while license suspended causing death. These charges are to be dismissed at Johnson’s sentencing in April in Van Buren County Circuit Court, according to Prosecutor Mike Bedford.
In question at Johnson’s December probable-cause hearing was whether some evidence would be admitted in the case, including a toxicology report which indicated that Brittney King had high levels of a narcotic pain reliever and heroin in her system when the crash took place. Additionally, the two children were not properly restrained in child seats at the time of the crash. A Michigan State Police crash reconstructionist testified at the probable-cause hearing that had the two children been properly restrained, the two little girls likely would have survived the crash.
Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 9 in front of Circuit Judge Kathleen M. Brickley.
Michigan second degree murder attorneys know the serious criminal penalties individuals convicted of this offense face; the courts have the discretion to sentence an individual to any number of years to life in prison for second-degree murder.
Individuals who are faced with serious accusations which could ultimately affect their freedom and reputation must consult with a competent and aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer at once for the best possible chance of avoiding a criminal conviction.