Man charged with second degree murder takes plea deal - WNEM TV 5

Man charged with second degree murder takes plea deal

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A man who hit and killed a Flint girl while driving a van in 2011 has taken a plea deal in order to avoid a charge of second-degree murder.

Mark Blount agreed to a plea deal of involuntary manslaughter in Genesee County Circuit Court Wednesday morning and will be sentenced Jan. 7.

Blount was charged in connection to the death of 13-year-old Misty Kurmis, who died after being hit by a van Blount was driving at the corner of Tobias and Saginaw Streets on Sept. 28, 2011.

Federal agents had Blount under surveillance while investigating him for drug connections. The agents called for a marked police vehicle to make a traffic stop.  Video from the trooper's car shows the trooper arriving with the car's lights and sirens on. At that point, authorities said Blount fled in the van, struck Kurmas and crashed the van - all in the span of 15 seconds.

Eyewitnesses say the van was traveling so fast down Saginaw Street that when it hit the girl, she was thrown more than 100 feet into the air.

Blount was arrested after a short foot chase when he jumped out of the van he crashed after striking Misty Kurmas while she crossed the street.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Blount had been smoking marijuana just before the accident and didn't have a license to drive the van.  The prosecutor says it's unusual for his office to file second-degree murder charges in a traffic-related death.  "We do it when a defendant acts willfully and wantonly, and creates this very high likelihood that death or great bodily harm will result, and that's what happened here," Leyton told WNEM TV-5.

Involuntary manslaughter charges in Michigan carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a 7,500 dollar fine.

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