On October 15th of 2012, former Allegan County sheriff’s deputy Kevin Jay Haan ended a high speed chase by crashing his truck into the front of a former school building. He was under the influence of alcohol at the time, and so was charged with drunk driving, fleeing and eluding police, and resisting and obstructing police.
According to police records, the chase began in northern Kent County, continuing across Muskegon County where it finally came to an abrupt end when Haan lost control of his Dodge Ram pickup crashed into another car and careened into a building. Haan and the driver of the other car received, thankfully, only minor injuries from the collision. But that was probably the least of Haan’s worries at the time.
Along with the half empty vodka bottle officers found in his truck, Haan’s blood alcohol count was 0.31. Unfortunately, there is no getting around this kind of trouble. Given that Michigan’s legal BAC level is .08 for drunk driving, this put Haan at almost four times the legal limit. Add to that the fact that this was Haan’s third DUI charge and he was in a world of trouble.
Haan’s defense attorney attempted to use the insanity defense, but the jury wasn’t buying it. On November 18th, 2013, they convicted Haan on three charges. He was found to be “guilty but mentally ill” of third-offense driving while intoxicated, third-degree fleeing and eluding police, and resisting and obstructing police. While it may sound different from the standard guilty verdict, the two are very similar. In this case, it simply means that the defendant is guilty, but should receive mental health counseling while incarcerated.
After the DUI conviction, Muskegon County Circuit Judge Timothy G. Hicks sentenced Haan to between 14 months and five years in prison. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed. They felt that the sentence for the DUI conviction should have been closer to one to two years. And so, after much wrangling, Haan was back in court for a re-sentencing. But Judge Hicks meant what he said the first time. And he hasn’t changed his mind since.
When Haan appeared before Judge Hicks a second time recently, he was sentenced to exactly the same time frame as before. According to the state’s sentencing guidelines, Haan’s sentence does actually fall within the guidelines for his DUI conviction, it just isn’t as low as the very bottom of the suggested sentence. So it appears that in this case, a resentencing has done nothing to change Haan’s situation, which he must be very unhappy about. We certainly would be, in his shoes.