Thursday, April 3, 2014

Suspect in drunken driving death asks for a trial after getting 'no offer' for plea

Original story:

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – For a man accused of a drunken driving crash that killed a mother of five, the best deal prosecutors will offer for his plea is that they won’t tell the judge how harsh a sentence he should impose. A Lansing DUI Lawyer is analyzing the case.

And that deal wasn't good enough for Jay Charles Hobbs, who is charged with drunken driving causing death and leaving the scene of a fatal crash in the Feb. 15 death of Tonya Beha.

Hobbs, a Lowell resident, was in Kent County Circuit Court on Wednesday, April 2, and heard Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Kevin Bramble's offer that authorities would not take a position on the sentencing if the suspect pleaded guilty to the charges that carry a 15-year maximum sentence.

Bramble said the prosecution would still argue against any reduction in sentencing guideline calculations and also would demand the opportunity for a victim impact statement.

“We view that, essentially, as no offer so we would respectfully request a trial date,” defense attorney John Grace said.

Police say 48-year-old Hobbs was driving a Chevrolet truck that struck Beha while she pushed a van that ran out of gas on Feb. 15. Beha was pushing the van on Alden Nash Road SE on the bridge over I-96 when she was struck, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. A Shiawassee County DUI Lawyer is also investigating this matter.

Beha, a 36-year-old mother of five children, died at the scene. She lived in Lake Odessa.

Police say Hobbs got out of his truck and ran away from the crash site, but was quickly captured in a wooded area to the south. Hobbs has a previous drunk driving conviction from 2011.

No date has been set for the trial.

Hobbs is free on a $30,000 bond.

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