Teen pleads guilty to maintaining drug house in connection to 16-year-old’s death.

March 20, 2018

Mason Saya

Teen pleads guilty to maintaining drug house in connection to 16-year-old’s death.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 19-year-old Sherman Township man pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug house in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, March 20.

The conviction of Mason Paul Saya, of 3816 N. Tuttle Road, stems from the Oct. 16, 2017 traffic crash death of 16-year-old Henry MacDougall of Ludington. Saya, who is currently lodged in the Mason County Jail, faces serving up to nine months up front of a one-year discretionary jail term in exchange for his plea.

One count of marijuana possession was dismissed. Saya will also receive probation and must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and follow its requirements, said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. He will also have a suspended driver’s license for six months with a restricted license after 30 days if he’s eligible.

Saya’s attorney Douglas Stevenson is recommending sentencing under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), which would allow him to withdraw his plea to the high-court misdemeanor if he successfully completes probation and plead to a misdemeanor. His sentencing scheduled for May 1 would be non-public. However, Spaniola said he plans to object to HYTA.

Several of MacDougal’s family members appeared in court Tuesday.

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. According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, MacDougall had traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his body.

Mason County sheriff’s 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, Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said, MacDougall was dabbing a highly concentrated form of marijuana wax.

Saya’s father, 52-year-old Paul James Saya of the same address also faces up to nine months in jail after pleading “no contest,” Feb. 27, to maintaining a drug house.

The elder 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 the Sayas’ home where marijuana and paraphernalia were found, said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski.

The father’s sentence will include two years probation and a suspended driver’s license for one year with a restricted license after 60 days, said Spaniola. He will also be required to take a substance abuse evaluation and follow the recommendations. His sentencing is set for April 10.

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