WYOMING, MI — Wyoming District Court Judge Steven Timmers took the criminal history of a 21-year-old accused in a fatal crash into account Friday when he raised the man’s bond to $1 million during his arraignment hearing.
According to our media partners at Mlive.com, the judge’s decision followed a “not guilty” plea by the defense attorney of Austin Hill, who is charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault, causing death.
Attorney Craig Haehnel’s request for a personal recognizance bond for his client was denied by Timmers, who read a summary of Hill’s criminal history during the hearing. Included were a pair of felony charges, and a past bench warrant for failure to appear.
Timmers also referred to allegations that Hill was attempting to flee prior to being arrested Wednesday at Ramblewood Apartments, near 44th Street SW and Byron Center Avenue.
Police say Hill was driving a pickup truck with a plow on Tuesday morning when he struck and killed 26-year-old Chelsea Crawford of Wyoming. Crawford was walking along 52nd Street SW near Byron Center Avenue.
An emotional Hill, appearing via a video conference call, was brought to tears Friday as he listened to Timmer’s decision to raise his bond from $750,000 to $1 million.
Because he has two prior felony charges — maintaining a drug house and delivery or manufacture of marijuana — he is charged as a third-offense habitual offender, which increases his potential penalty to 30 years in prison.
Hill is due back in court at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 for a probable cause conference.
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