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Man Pleads No Contest In Fatal Crash
Wednesday May 17, 2017 8:23am
Coldwater, MI

By: Mike Stiles

(COLDWATER) – A no contest plea has been entered by a man charged in the death of a woman in a traffic crash.

Branch County Circuit Court officials say 32 year old Michael Penza plead no contest on a charge of operating while intoxicated causing death and possession of methamphetamine in a crash last October in Ovid Township that claimed the life of 54 year old Brenda Hutchinson.

With Penza taking the plea deal, the Branch County Prosecutor's Office dismissed charges of second degree homicide and a second offense of possession of marijuana.

Michigan State Police say Penza was driving south on Centennial Road in Branch County's Ovid Township on October 28 at 6:45 PM when he crossed the center line and struck a north bound vehicle driven by Hutchinson.

She was removed from her vehicle by rescue personnel and pronounced dead at the scene. Penza and his daughter also had to be removed from their vehicle. He was taken to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo while his daughter was taken to the Community Health Center of Branch County.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 10.


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