Paul William Nix, a 40-year-old man who was found guilty of fleeing and eluding police and on two counts of second-degree child abuse, recently had those convictions upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals. Nix appealed his conviction on the grounds that the prosecutors in the case did not provide sufficient evidence to show that the 24-mile long high speed chase he was involved in was “likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child.” Nix allegedly had his two children, an infant and a 4-year-old stepson, unrestrained in the back seat of the Chevrolet Blazer he was driving at the time of the chase.
The defendant is currently serving six to 40 years for fleeing and eluding police, and four to 15 years on the two counts of second-degree child abuse.
It all started in June of 2011 when the suspect and his wife and children were parked in the Chevrolet Blazer at a city park. A sheriff’s deputy who was patrolling the area noticed that the license plate on the Blazer was expired; as he approached the vehicle, Nix drove away. According to a news article at Mlive.com, Nix had an outstanding warrant for his arrest in connection with an armed altercation which occurred three days prior, according to court records.
A high-speed pursuit ensued when Nix drove away from the park, continuing for 24 miles and reaching 100 mph speeds at times. The news article claims that Nix raced past traffic signs and signals, and crossed the center line; he also veered to avoid stop sticks placed in the road by a deputy, and attempted to ram a patrol car. Eventually, Nix crashed into the Alpine Slide at the Crystal Mountain Resort. Nix then got away after he fled on foot, but was arrested in Arkansas one week later as his family headed for Mexico.
The Michigan Court of Appeals panel found that the defendant’s actions did put the children in substantial danger after listening to the testimony of sheriff’s deputies.
Michigan criminal appeals attorneys know that it takes a lawyer with exceptional skill and experience to win these types of cases. The appeals process is complex, and very different from the criminal justice process.
If you feel that you have been wrongly convicted of a crime, be certain to contact a capable Michigan criminal appeals lawyer with years of experience and a proven track record in reaching positive results for clients.