Sherman Twp. man to serve 6 months jail in connection to teen’s death.

May 1, 2018

Mason Saya, left, with defense attorney Doug Stevenson. Members of Henry MacDougall’s family were also in the courtroom.

Sherman Twp. man to serve 6 months jail in connection to teen’s death.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Mason Paul Saya, 19, briefly broke into tears after the parents of Henry MacDougall read victim impact statements during a sentencing hearing in 51st Circuit Court today, May 1, 2018. Saya, of 3816 N. Tuttle Road, Sherman Township, was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court to serve 180 days in jail, along with one year of discretionary jail time, for maintaining a drug house.

The conviction stems from the Oct. 6, 2017 US 31 traffic crash death of 16-year-old Henry MacDougall of Ludington. Members of MacDougall’s family, including his parents, were in the courtroom.

Jennifer Hansberger, MacDougall’s mother read a victim’s impact statement to the court.

“My son died in a car accident after leaving Mason Saya’s house,” she said. “Before Henry left his house that evening last October, Mr. Saya videotaped him doing drugs in his room and then posted it on social media for the world to see, like it was all fun and games to him. When I think of the impact that Mr. Saya’s actions of maintaining a drug house and supplying drugs to our county’s children has on me and our family, it’s forever. Our Henry is gone from us forever. I will be in pain forever from losing him. Henry and I had a very strong bond. I fought infertility issues for six years trying to have Henry. I had numerous surgieres and was prescribed fertility medications that made me feel very sick but I never gave up and after all those years I finally had Henry and I felt blessed and happy and I thought my fight was over… Now, I have to fight the rest of my life to not let the pain of losing Henry destroy me… I will never have another burger with just him and I for my birthday. No more Christmases with him… Henry was a momma’s boy and I loved that.

“Do I feel Henry has some accountability for this tragedy? Yes I do. He was a young teen that thought he was invincible as most teenagers do and made a very poor decision. I also feel that Henry fell victim to Mr. Saya preying on teenagers in our community as demonstrated by him showing no remorse after Henry lost his life by him supplying and using drugs with teens just the very day after getting out of jail on bond.”

Henry’s father, Gordon MacDougall, also addressed the court.

“I will never again see my son play any of the sports he loved. I will not get to see him graduate. I will not get to see him get married and start a family of his own. I will never get that.”

Saya pleaded guilty on March 20, 2018. Saya’s attorney, Doug Stevenson, objected to the reading of the victim impact statements in court. Judge Susan Sniegowski immediately responded that she was allowing it.

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

Saya is also facing misdemeanor delivery of marijuana charges in 79th District Court stemming from a Jan. 19, 2018 arrest by Ludington Police Department at Stearns Park beach. Less than 24 hours after being released from the Mason County Jail, Saya was charged with 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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Saya was scheduled to appear in front of Judge Peter Wadel in district court on Wednesday, but his attorney, Doug Stevenson, had asked for that hearing to be postponed due to a funeral.

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.

The sentencing guidelines for maintaining a drug house call for a jail term of zero to three months. Judge Sniegowski said the guidelines are a suggestion and that she was going to go above them in this case.

She said the case is an example of a worst case scenario in regards to why marijuana is illegal.

“There’s a lot of controversy surrounding marijuana laws in this country and a lot of debate,” Sniegowski said. “Those of us in this courtroom have seen that it is harmful and there’s a reason why we have laws against it and its distribution.”

Saya has received credit for serving 105 days in jail.

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