Man who struck teacher, Scott Dumas in hit & run, pleads no contest

August 12, 2014

blackburn_081214By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Brian Keith Blackburn, 24, of 603 N. Delia St., who struck local teacher Scott Dumas with his vehicle in a local parking lot, pleaded no contest this afternoon in 51st Circuit Court and will likely serve 2.5 to 5 years in prison.

A no contest plea is when a defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to pleading guilty or not guilty. While technically not a guilty plea, it has the same effect as a guilty plea.

Dumas, 50, is a teacher at Mason County Central Middle School.

Blackburn told Judge Richard Cooper that on April 16, he had come home after working third shift in Montague. “I showered and cleaned up and then hung around the house awhile. I invited my sister to lunch and I had a couple of drinks. I dropped her off and all I recall is waking up in the hospital and getting my blood drawn.”

He said that he and his sister went to Pentwater where they ate lunch and drank at two establishments.

Blackburn said he does not recall anything else after he “blacked out.” He later changed his story slightly and began to recall a little more, adding that he did remember waking up in a police cruiser and then being taken into the hospital.

What he also doesn’t recall is that he drove through the Shop-N-Save grocery store parking lot in Pere Marquette Township and struck Scott Dumas, 50, of Amber Township, causing brain damage and fracturing his extremities. So severe that Dumas had to be airlifted to a Grand Rapids hospital. Nor did he recall that several beer cans and a glass pipe with the smell of burnt marijuana were in his car, according to a police report.

Several witnesses did recall, though, the details of what happened in the Shop-N-Save parking lot.

Judge Richard Cooper read statements from several witnesses.

“(The witness) reported she had seen a hit and run accident in front of Shop-N-Save. She noticed a gold colored Buick passenger vehicle enter the east side of the parking lot at a high rate of speed. It slowed down to almost a complete stop and then accelerated to a high rate of speed in front of her and her daughter. She then noticed Scott Dumas walking. The Buick never attempted to slow down or veer, striking Scott. When he was struck, his body was thrown 8 to 10 feet in the air and approximately 30 feet across the pavement,” Cooper said. Accounts from several other witnesses were identical.

In addition to the witnesses in the parking lot, various motorists had contacted 911 to complain about a gold Buick driving recklessly. After he was pulled over, officers asked Blackburn if he knew how much he had to drink. He responded: “Not enough.”

Blackburn had a blood alcohol level of .20.

Blackburn was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury, a 5-year-maximum felony; failure to stop at a scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment, a 5-year maximum felony; two counts of assault/resisting/obstructing a police officer (Mason County Sheriff Dep. Kyle Boyd and Ludington Police Officer Tony Kuster), 2-year maximum felonies; possession of marijuana, 1 year maximum misdemeanor; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, second offense, 1 year maximum misdemeanor.

Today, with Scott Dumas and his wife, Kathy, in the courtroom, Blackburn accepted a plea offer to drop one of the assault/resisting counts, the possession of marijuana count and the OWI count. The remaining counts would stand and he is likely to serve a maximum prison sentence of 5 years for his acts.

Kathy Dumas said that Scott’s next major surgery will be on his hearing, a $17,000 surgery that their insurance currently does not cover.

Blackburn is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 1:45 p.m.

 

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