Michigan Drunk Driving Death: Trial Set

Crash Into House Kills Sleeping Resident

A trial date has now been set for Hunter D. Motko, a 21-year-old man from Auburn, MI. He is facing three felony charges as a result of a drunk driving death incident. Prosecutors allege Motko crashed his mother’s SUV into a residential home, killing one sleeping person.

According to police, at about 5:40am on March 9th, Motko drove his airborne 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe through the brick bedroom wall of a home at 501 Ruth St. in Auburn. On the other side of that wall slept Vaughn E. Lietzke, a 41-year-old man, and his wife Sandra Lietzke. Vaughn was killed in the crash, and his wife sustained non-life threatening injuries. EMT responders pronounced Vaughn dead at the scene, and Sandra was airlifted to St. Mary’s of Michigan Medical Center in Saginaw.

When the Bay County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, Motko was still inside the SUV and became combative with them. Deputies were required to stun Motko with a Taser in order to subdue him. Motko denied having driven the vehicle he was sitting in, and when the deputies informed him that someone had died as a result of his actions, Motko denied killing anyone.

The deputies took Motko to McLaren Bay Region hospital for his injuries. A search warrant was executed, and blood samples were taken from Motko at about 8:30 am, almost three hours after the crash. According to analysis of the sample, Motko’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at that time was 0.25, which is more than three times the legal limit of 0.08. Later that day, just after noon, Motko took a Breathalyzer test which indicated his blood alcohol level at that time to be 0.138.

On March 10, Bay County Chief District Judge Timothy J. Kelly arraigned Motko on charges of operating while intoxicated causing death, which is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $2,500 to $10,000, or both. He was also charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury, which is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $1,000 to $5,000, or both. And finally, operating while intoxicated, second offense, which is a 90-day misdemeanor. The judge stated that Motko had a previous drunk driving conviction from August 2011.

According to Motko’s attorney, Matthew L. Reyes of Bay City, MI, Motko suffered some head injuries in the crash and his recollection of the incident is foggy. He also stated that his client’s blood alcohol level is still pending, and that his 2011 impaired driving conviction was related to THC, which is the psychoactive substance in marijuana, and not alcohol.

The trial is scheduled to start with jury selection on Tuesday morning, June 10th. In the event of scheduling conflict, a back-up trial date has been set for Tuesday, July 22. The trial will be presided over by Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill. Motko is still in custody in the Bay County Jail, as he is unable to make bail, which was set at $500,000 cash.

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Posted in Drunk Driving News, Michigan Drunk Driving, operating while intoxicated, OWI causing death
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