Crime Watch

April 22, 2008

Man pleads guilty in fatal crash

A 20-year-old Anne Arundel County man who prosecutors said was drunk, high on drugs and speeding when the stolen car he was driving crashed, killing a passenger, pleaded guilty yesterday to a manslaughter charge.

Michael Arnell Davis of the 400 block of Monterey Ave. in Annapolis, who is on probation for armed robbery, was driving at speeds up to 100 miles an hour before the Jan. 20, 2007, crash, prosecutors said. Davis pleaded guilty to charges of negligent manslaughter and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Prosecutor Jennifer M. Alexander said she would request that Davis be sentenced, with some "active jail time," to three to eight years on the manslaughter count and 18 months, concurrently, on the other count. Davis, who is being held at the county detention center, is to be sentenced June 8.

Davis was indicted on 16 counts in the crash that killed Richard Craig Lewis Jr., 18.

According to prosecutors, Davis was high on marijuana and PCP while he was driving a 2001 Volvo S-60 that had been reported stolen five days earlier in Severna Park. Speeding on Aris T. Allen Blvd., he lost control at Vineyard Road, crossed a grassy median into oncoming traffic, and hit a Toyota 4 Runner before striking a concrete barrier on the front passenger side of the Volvo.

Prosecutors said that if the case had gone to trial, witnesses would have testified that Davis and Lewis, who were friends, "were yelling and pumping their fists out of a sunroof while the defendant was speeding down the road." Lewis, who suffered a fractured skull, dislocated spine, laceration of his brain and other injuries, died at the scene.

Davis, who suffered extensive injuries requiring surgery, was hospitalized at Maryland Shock Trauma Center for five days. The occupants of the Toyota suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Toxicology tests show that Davis' blood alcohol level was 0.137 about two hours after the accident, prosecutors said. A urine sample tested positive for marijuana and PCP, prosecutors said.

Davis' lawyer, defense attorney Heather E. Tierney, cautioned that "the urine test is not evidence of impairment." But Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II said the combination of excessive speed and the urine sample, showed "he was operating the vehicle in an aggressive manner."

Nicole Fuller

Trial set in fatal Ohio wreck

TOLEDO, Ohio -- The trial of a man charged with killing five members of a Parkville family in a crash in Ohio has been set for June 23.

Michael Gagnon appeared briefly yesterday before Judge Linda Jennings in Toledo on what was originally his trial date. The judge set a May 9 hearing for arguments on motions filed by Gagnon's lawyer.

Gagnon is accused in the Dec. 30 crash on Interstate 280 in Toledo that killed a mother and four children. Police say he was drunk and driving the wrong way on the interstate when his pickup hit a minivan carrying eight people coming home from a Christmas trip.

Police say Gagnon's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

Associated Press

Man shot after firing at officer in traffic stop

A routine traffic stop in Brooklyn Park last night suddenly burst into an exchange of gunfire between a motorist who pulled a gun and an Anne Arundel County police officer, authorities said.

The motorist was shot, but the officer was not hit.

Shortly before 11 p.m., a Northern District police officer stopped a car on Franklin Avenue near Alley No. 7 for a traffic violation and was out of his patrol car when the motorist, who also was out of his car, pulled a handgun and fired at least one shot at the officer, police said.

The officer, whose name was not released, pulled out his semiautomatic handgun and fired at the man, hitting him at least once in the upper body, police said.

Battalion Chief Matthew Tobia, a spokesman for the county Fire Department, said the wounded man, believed to be in his mid-20s, was taken by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. His condition was not available, Tobia said.

Richard Irwin

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