Man faces jail in connection to 16-year-old’s death.

February 27, 2018

Paul Saya

Man faces jail in connection to 16-year-old’s death.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 52-year-old Sherman Township man faces up to nine months in jail after pleading “no contest” in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Feb. 27, to maintaining a drug house.

The conviction of Paul James Saya, of 3816 N. Tuttle Road, stems from the Oct. 16, 2017 traffic crash death of 16-year-old Henry MacDougall of Ludington.

Henry MacDougall died after his vehicle crashed into a semi-truck and trailer at the intersection of US 31 and Sugar Grove Road in Sherman Township. MacDougall was westbound on Sugar Grove Road and failed to stop for the intersection. According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, MacDougall had traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his body.

Cole said detectives had obtained a Snapchat video taken of MacDougall within two hours of the crash showing him “dabbing,” which is using a type of inhaler to ingest a drug. In this case, Cole said, MacDougall was dabbing a highly concentrated form of marijuana wax.

Following MacDougall’s death, Saya was arrested on charges of maintaining a drug house, which is a high-court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison, and a misdemeanor of marijuana possession. He was also charged with second-offense habitual offender.

The marijuana possession charge and the habitual offender designation were dismissed in a plea agreement Tuesday.

Saya entered a “no contest” plea “because of the tragic accident that took place … due to the civil liability that could follow,” said his attorney Joseph Brugnoli.

A search warrant was executed in Saya’s home where marijuana and paraphernalia were found, said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski.

Saya’s sentence will include two years probation and a suspended driver’s license for one year with a restricted license after 60 days, said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. He will also be required to take a substance abuse evaluation and follow the recommendations.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 0-18 months.

Sentencing is set for April 10 at 1 p.m.

Saya’s 19-year-old son, Mason Saya, of the same residence, also faces charges of marijuana possession and maintaining a drug house. The younger Saya has a preliminary exam scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 11:15 a.m. in 79th District Court, which is expected to be waived, Spaniola said.

Less than 24 hours after being released from the Mason County Jail on the charges related to MacDougall’s death, Mason Saya, was arrested on three counts, including the felony charge of delivery/manufacture of marijuana and misdemeanor charges of marijuana use and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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