LIMA — A Michigan man charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in the 2016 traffic death of a fellow student at the University of Northwestern Ohio has rejected an offer from prosecutors that would have capped his time behind bars at five years.
Zackery Brown, 22, of Waterford, Michigan, appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court Tuesday to formally decline an offer from Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick that called for Brown to plead guilty to the aggravated vehicular homicide charge, a second-degree felony. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop three remaining counts and to cap at five years the amount of prison time Brown would serve.
Brown was indicted in January of last year on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol following a traffic accident on Nov. 10, 2016, that claimed the life of fellow Michigan resident Brenden Wale.
Brown reportedly told investigating officers he was the driver of Wale’s vehicle when he crashed on state Route 115 approximately three miles south of the Putnam County line and also said he had consumed two beers in the hours leading up to the crash. Wale was found by patrol officers slumped over in the passenger seat of the vehicle with no apparent vital signs. The reporting officer noted that Brown’s speech was slurred at the time he was found at the crash scene.
Following Brown’s rejection of the plea deal offered him, Judge Jeffrey Reed rescheduled a jury trial in the case for April 24.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.