Hearing for man accused of killing 3 in Walhalla adjourned, again.

April 21, 2021

Wellington

Hearing for man accused of killing 3 in Walhalla adjourned, again.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A probable cause hearing for a Manton man accused of killing three people in Walhalla has been adjourned for the second time. David Allen Wellington, 27, of 7119 E. 12 Road, Manton, faces seven criminal counts including two counts of second degree murder, two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing miscarriage/stillbirth, one county of failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death, one count of operating without a license, and also a count of habitual offender fourth time. 

He was scheduled to appear in 79th District Court today but the hearing was adjourned (postponed) until 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, May 19.

Wellington was the driver of a 2010 Jeep Patriot that was involved in a crash that killed three people the afternoon of March 1 on US 10 in Walhalla. Killed in the crash were David Lee Mclain-Williams, 24, who was driving a 2005 Buick Terraz, his girlfriend Ashley Nicole Plotts, 22, both of Scottville, along with their unborn baby son, David, Jr. Plotts was 8-months-pregnant.

He was arraigned in 79th District Court today, Wednesday, March 3, 2021 and has remained in the Mason County Jail since, with a cash bond set at $500,000. 

Mason County Attorney Magistrate Glenn Jackson said the hearing has been adjourned again because both sides are asking for more discovery.

A probable cause hearing is a hearing held in a criminal case to determine if sufficient evidence exists to prosecute an accused, specifically to prosecute the accused on felony charges. The hearing is held before the district court judge having jurisdiction over the case. If the judge determines there is enough evidence to prosecute as felonies, the cause is bound over to circuit court. 

Discovery is the exchange of legal information and known facts of a case between the two sides, the prosecution and the defense. It includes obtaining and disclosing the evidence and position of each side of a case so that all parties involved can decide what their best options are – move forward toward trial or negotiate an early settlement.

Following the crash, Mason County Sheriff’s Office investigators determined Wellington’s vehicle struck Mclain-Williams’ vehicle at an excessive speed. Wellington was traveling west with his destination being Shelby in Oceana County while Mclain-William. was traveling east. During the arraignment Magistrate Jackson stated that investigators determined that Wellington’s vehicle was traveling about 90 mph. He also stated that a blood draw at the hospital concluded that Wellington’s blood alcohol content was .15, the legal limi is .08. Deputies also found marijuana in Wellington’s vehicle.

Immediately following the crash, Wellington fled the crash scene on foot. A Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputy and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer tracked him for approximately half mile before locating him with the assistance of citizens in the area.

According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, McLain-Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. Passersby and first responders performed CPR on Plotts on the scene. She was then transported to Ludington hospital where she and the baby were pronounced dead. 

After being apprehended, Wellington was transported by ambulance to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was then arrested and lodged in the Mason County Jail.

Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Kreinbrink stated during the arraignment that Wellington was not a resident of Mason County and that the charges were extremely serious, which is why she asked for a high bond. Magistrate Jackson stated that the public safety risk of Wellington being on the street is severe. 

Second degree murder is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Operating while intoxicated causing a miscarriage or stillbirth, carries a maximum of 15 years in prison. Failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death carries a maximum of five years in prison. Operating without a license is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.  The habitual fourth time offender charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison. 

The crash scene that killed three people in Walhalla.

Wellington has an extensive criminal history. 

On May 12, 2014, he was sentenced in Oceana County’s 27th Circuit Court to up to five years in prison for committing/procuring gross indecency between a male and a female. The offense took place on April 3, 2013. He was discharged on Oct. 26, 2015. 

On Feb. 11, 2015, Wellington, who was living in Rothbury at the time, was sentenced in Oceana County’s 27th Circuit Court, to serve up to five months in jail for larceny of items from a residence three days before Christmas. 

On Oct. 26, 2015 , Wellington, who was living in Shelby at the time, was sentenced in Oceana County’s 27th Circuit Court to 18 months to five years in prison for violating his probation in relation to the gross indecency sentence. He was discharged from prison on Aug. 30, 2018. During sentencing, Judge Anthony A. Monton sentenced Wellington in “excess of the guidelines,” he said, “considering the numerous amount of violations.” Wellington “exhausted all his remedies for local county jail time,” said his attorney, Rick Prysock. “I did what I did; I messed up; there’s no excuse,” Wellington said.

On July 19, 2018, Wellington, who was living in Hart at the time, was sentenced in Oceana County’s 78th District Court for marijuana possession and was sentenced to one year discretionary jail.

On Aug. 14, 2018, was found guilty in Oceana County’s 78th District Court on driving while license suspended and sentenced to 93 days discretionary jail. 

On May 7, 2019, he was sentenced in Kalkaska County’s 46th Circuit Court to three years in prison for two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. The offense took place on Jan. 1, 2005. He was discharged on July 30, 2020.

A preliminary examination  is scheduled for March 17, 2021 at 1:45 p.m. 

Editor’s Note: A person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

 

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