30-year-old Calvin Leon Liptrot Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8 on charges of operating while intoxicated causing death, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in death. Liptrot is to be sentenced by Kent County Circuit Court Judge James Robert Redford.
On June 3 of this year, Liptrot pleaded no contest to the charges, which stem from an accident that occurred in December of 2012. According to a news article at Mlive.com, Liptrot and 22-year-old Michelle Caverly had been partying on the evening of the accident, and had gotten into a Chevy van. Liptrot was allegedly drunk when he got behind the wheel of the van; the 22-year-old woman was in the passenger seat with the door open when the defendant reportedly put the van into reverse and struck a tree, knocking Caverly out of the vehicle. The incident occurred in the area of Third Street near Fremont Avenue NW.
Investigators allege that after striking the tree, the van continued in motion and slammed into a house after running over Caverly. Liptrot got out of the van according to witnesses, then climbed back in after standing over the victim’s body briefly; he then fled the scene. He was apprehended not long after the accident, and according to police and James Benison, Kent County Assistant Prosecutor, had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 at the scene; it was also determined that Liptrot’s system contained cocaine and marijuana.
Caverly was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, where she died shortly thereafter. She was the mother of a young son and a 2008 Northview High School graduate.
Earlier news reports indicated that authorities were not certain whether Caverly was actually inside the van and fell out when Liptrot slammed the van into reverse, or whether she may have been standing near the tree. Grand Rapids police officer Greg Edgcombe could not confirm that Caverly was in the passenger seat of the van. When the vehicle was located, it was missing the passenger side front door.
Michigan OUIL manslaughter attorneys realize the seriousness of crimes involving alcohol or illegal substances when a life is lost. Individuals who are convicted of this type of criminal offense will face up to 15 years in prison.
If you have been charged with a serious criminal offense or are under investigation, it is urgent that you speak with a talented Michigan criminal defense lawyer right away.