- Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan man who pleaded guilty to reckless driving in a crash that killed two people will avoid additional jail time through a sentencing agreement, a move the victim’s family said they support.

At a sentencing hearing Thursday, Chase Batdorff tearfully took responsibility for running a stop sign and causing the July 29 crash in Hamlin Township that killed John and Nancy Gutierrez.

“I feel terrible for what’s happened,” he said. “I hope they can forgive me at some point.”

Under the agreement, the charges against Batdorff will be reduced from felonies to misdemeanor counts of moving violation causing death if he remains out of trouble until a sentencing hearing scheduled for February 2020. He’ll then serve two years of probation, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Batdorff’s being released from the Eaton County Jail on bond. Under the agreement, he cannot drive, and must stick to a 9 p.m. curfew, perform 100 hours of community service and pay $20,000 restitution.

Batdorff could be sentenced under the original felony charges if he violates any part of the agreement.

John Gutierrez’s sister, Lupe Shakespeare, said the family supports the deal to give Batdorff a second chance.

“I can’t help but feel sorry for this young man who has his whole life ahead of him,” Shakespeare said in a victim impact statement Thursday.

Lisa Gutierrez-Carroll said her father worked to keep people safe as a police officer and her mother believed in second changes.

“I hope you never forget the gift this court has given you,” Gutierrez-Carroll said.


Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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