- Associated Press - Saturday, May 1, 2021

MONROE, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan man will spend at least 18 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges in connection to a June crash that killed two women who were riding their bicycles.

According to prosecutors, 29-year-old Coleen Huling and 25-year-old Melissa Williams were riding on the shoulder of a road in London Township when Ryan Miettinen hit them with his car and fled.

Miettinen, who is 22, was sentenced to 9 to 40 years for each count of failure to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault, resulting in death. A plea agreement with prosecutors required that he serve at least nine years on each count.

Monroe County’s 38th Circuit Judge Michael A. Weipert ordered that Miettinen must serve at least 18 years before becoming eligible for parole.

The Monroe News reported that the women’s family members testified before sentencing.

Huling’s mother, Kelly Huling, remembered her daughter’s love of photography, cooking and her family and friends. Williamson’s sisters remembered her as kind and selfless, with a dedication to her family.

Miettinen asked the women’s families to forgive him and told the court he was hit in the head with a baseball bat during a fight before the accident.

“I wish everyday that my life was taken and not theirs,” he said.

Weipert, though, said Miettinen was driving too fast and did not lead police to the vehicle he was driving when he hit the women.

“That convinces the court of knowledge here, no doubt about it,” Weipert said.

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