Clinton Lovelace, charged in a crash with twelve motorcycle from Michigan that killed two riders and injured others, sits down in Judge Sharpe's courtroom for his plea hearing. Tuesday September 24, 2013. / Patrick Flood/Action Reporter Media
FOND DU LAC, Wisc. (Fond du Lac Reporter) -- Missing a leg and hooked up to intravenous antibiotics Eric (Rick) Vandam said Tuesday he was glad to be in a Fond du Lac County courtroom.
The motorcyclist from Muskegon sat in his wheelchair as 26-year-old Clinton Lovelace was found guilty of two counts of homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle and three counts of second degree reckless injury/ endangering safety.
"I haven't been able to make any of the other hearings and I want him (Lovelace) to see me, to make it more real for him what he did," said Vandam, who was one of several cyclists injured in the May 31, 2012, fatal crash. The crash took the lives of two members of the Muskegon Motorcycle Gang.
Lovelace, of Hilbert, sat quietly next to public defender Mary Wolfe. A plea agreement was reached on amended information in the case. Judge Gary Sharpe will sentence Lovelace on Feb. 6.
Lovelace is accused of driving into a group of 12 Michigan motorcyclists on Highway 151 in the town of Taycheedah. Killed in the crash were Douglas A. Younkers, 43, of Muskegon, Mich., and Daniel L. Winsemius, 59, of Twin Lake, Mich. Three others, Vandam, Garry L. Ferris and Douglas Williams, were critically injured in the crash. Only two of the motorcyclists in the group escaped the crash without injuries.
District Attorney Eric Toney said the resolution requires that Lovelace face more than 30 years of prison. He entered no contest pleas to two homicide charges for the two riders he killed and alford pleas to three felony charges of second degree reckless injury for the riders that he seriously injured.
"We believe the State's recommendation at sentencing will be supported by all the evidence, address the significance of the incident, the need to protect the public, and the defendant's character, while sparing the victims and their families the need to relive these horrific events during a week and a half trial," Toney said.
By Sharon Roznik, Action Reporter Media