Watervliet Woman Accused of Driving Under Influence of Marijuana Resulting in Death of Four Goes on Trial

Ashley Baker, a 27-year-old Watervliet resident, was charged with four counts each of felony operating a motor vehicle with any amount of controlled substance in her system causing death and misdemeanor committing a moving violation causing death in connection with a February 16 crash which left four people dead. Baker’s trial began on Tuesday, December 10 according to a news article at Mlive.com.

Four women were killed When Baker’s Dodge Caravan failed to stop at a stop sign, striking the Buick Lucerne the victims were riding in. The accident occurred at the intersection of 66th Avenue and County Road 687 in Hartford Township. Baker had a passenger in the vehicle with her, and told police that icy road conditions made her unable to stop at the intersection. A blood test was performed which revealed marijuana was in Baker’s system at the time of the crash.

Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford authorized charges against Baker in April after THC, a chemical in marijuana, was detected in blood tests. The amount of THC in the defendant’s bloodstream was not specified in the charges against Baker, however Bedford said that any amount present is sufficient to support the charge of operating while intoxicated causing death.

Those killed in the accident include Kathyn Maya, Lou Ann Holcomb, Celeste Phillips, and Charlotte Sieber. Baker and her passenger were not injured.

If convicted of operating while intoxicated causing death, Baker will face penalties which include up to 15 years in prison.

In Michigan, offenses involving drugs including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other Schedule 1 or 2 drugs or narcotics are punished harshly. Prosecutors and police crack down hard on those suspected of using, possessing, or manufacturing/distributing illegal substances.

Being charged with a drug offense does not mean you will be convicted; in fact, the burden of proof lies with prosecutors who must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you have been accused of marijuana possession, drug trafficking, or even charged with a serious crime such as operating while intoxicated causing death, you must consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan drug crime defense lawyer at once to protect your legal rights and freedom.

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