- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

ST. JOHNS, Mich. — A woman accused of being distracted by her cellphone when her car struck and killed a bicyclist has been barred from using any portable communication device for two years.

“I don’t think she has a right to have a cellphone,” Clinton County District Judge Stewart McDonald said. “I think it’s a privilege.”

Police said Mitzi Nelson was distracted by her phone last fall when she hit Jill Byelich, 35, who was riding a bike near DeWitt, north of Lansing. Nelson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge.

Nelson, 23, will spend at least 90 days in jail over staggered periods and must speak to new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, the judge said Wednesday.

Byelich’s husband, Jordan Byelich, suggested the cellphone ban. He hugged Nelson in court before she was taken to jail.

Defense attorney Mike Nichols said he doubts he will challenge the sentence and phone ban.

“Mitzi may be just fine with that,” he told the Lansing State Journal (https://on.freep.com/1H3PfmX).

Nichols praised Jordan Byelich’s compassion after witnessing the hug.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide