A 24-year-old Howard City man was sentenced June 27 in the death of another Howard City man.
Ryan Patrick Bennett, 24, was charged in January with Operating while intoxicated causing death and Reckless driving causing death, in connection with the July 20, 2012 traffic crash that led to the death Scott Gregory, 25.
Bennett pled no contest in May to Operating while intoxicated causing death, and operating while intoxicated with a high blood alcohol content.
The initial story was that he saw a body lying in West Edgerton Street shortly before 2:30 a.m., on Friday, July 20. He then proceeded home (a few blocks away) and told his father, who called 911. He was arrested at the scene for driving while intoxicated, but not officially charged with Gregory’s death until January, after evidence recovered from Bennett’s vehicle was analyzed by the Michigan State Police crime lab and connected Bennett’s vehicle to the crash.
According to information printed in the Greenville Daily News, it’s unknown whether Bennett’s car actually caused Gregory’s death, though evidence shows he ran over him. Both men were reportedly at a bar in Howard City that evening, and Gregory, who had a blood alcohol level of .26, walked home. Bennett, who had a blood alcohol level between .18 and .19, was on his way home when he hit Gregory. The prosecution noted that medical evidence suggested the possibility that another vehicle may also have hit the Gregory.
The Daily News reported that Bennett was sentenced June 27 to 60 days in jail, with credit for 13 days served, and 30 days suspended. He was also sentenced to probation and alcohol treatment, 360 hours of community service, $7,700 in restitution and court costs.