Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 20, 2014

Judge: Driver in Blair crash deserves longer sentence

TRAVERSE CITY — Shawn Robert Kimbrough sat in a wheelchair as a judge sentenced him for the Blair Township crash that not only resulted in his injuries, but put a young couple's future health in question.

Kimbrough, 27, today apologized to the victims in a Feb. 21 two-vehicle crash on M-37. But 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power found Kimbrough's actions and the harm they caused warranted more prison time than what's called for in state sentencing guidelines.

"What happened here is Mr. Kimbrough had considerable medications in his blood," Power said.

Power sentenced Kimbrough to a 6.6- to 10-year sentence on two counts of driving under the influence causing serious injury. That's more than the 5-year maximum sentence listed in state law.

A police report states Kimbrough's vehicle fishtailed across the center line and into a car driven by Nathan Derrek Kulpa, 21. Kulpa and his passenger and girlfriend Devon Mackenzie Holmes, 21, both suffered serious injuries in the crash, as did Kimbrough.

Prescription pills spilled from Kimbrough's pockets in the Munson Medical Center emergency room and authorities found marijuana and heroin in his pants, according to the police report.

Prosecutors in April filed a long list of criminal charges against Kimbrough after a blood test found drugs in his system. He later pleaded guilty to driving under the influence causing serious injury and possession of heroin.

Power said Kimbrough's "extensive" criminal record and the severe and potentially permanent injuries Holmes and Kulpa suffered led him to impose a longer sentence.

Kimbrough's attorney Randy Smith said he recommended that Kimbrough pursue an appeal. He said Kimbrough struggled with substance abuse problems.

"There's no question that abuse played a role in where he finds himself today," he said. "Hopefully, it all changes."

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