Man sentenced to 19-70 years in prison for drunk driving crash that killed young couple and their unborn child

October 10, 2023

David Wellington

Man sentenced to 19-70 years in prison for drunk driving crash that killed young couple and their unborn child

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

LUDINGTON — A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 19 to 70 years in prison in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Oct. 10, for driving drunk and crashing into another vehicle, killing a young couple and their unborn child.

David Allen Wellington pleaded “no contest” Aug. 18 to two counts of homicide — manslaughter, two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing a miscarriage/stillbirth and fourth-offense habitual offender.

Parents of the couple killed in the crash — David Williams and Nikki and Eric Plotts — listen to Judge Sniegowski as she hands down the 19-70 year prison sentence for David Wellington.

Judge Susan K. Sniegowksi sentenced Wellington to the highest minimum term as set forth in the sentencing guidelines of five to 19 years. 

Wellington was driving a 2010 Jeep Patriot that crashed the afternoon of March 1, 2021 on US 10 in Walhalla. David Lee McLain-Williams, 24, and Ashley Nicole Plotts, 22, and their unborn baby son, David, Jr. were killed in the crash. Plotts was eight months pregnant.

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

Nikki Plotts, Ashley Plotts’ mother, addresses the court.

McLain-Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. Passersby and first responders performed CPR on Plotts at the scene. She was then transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital (now Corewell Health) where she and the baby were pronounced dead.

The courtroom was packed with the couple’s family members, friends and supporters. Many were wearing matching T-shirts demanding justice for the couple and their baby. Several family members provided emotionally-charged allocution statements.

Ashley Plotts’ sister, Courtney Plotts, speaks.

“This day ruined my life,” said Ashley Plotts’ mother, Nikki Plotts: “The pain we feel is unbearable. I will never get to hold my grandson. Please keep all other families safe from this monster and keep him locked away forever.”

“My sweet, caring and hardworking son was dead,” said McLain-Williams’ mother, Rachel McLain, as she described the day she received the horrible news. “My sweet grandson who I just felt moving in Ashley’s tummy was dead as well. I unzipped the body bag, and my son’s eyes were open and he had a scared look on his face. I grabbed his hand, and it was cold and stiff. McLain held a stuffed animal while she spoke, which she said is a replica of the couple’s dog. She said their pet died after the couple died, because it stopped eating and drinking — presumably from intense grief.

Rachel McLain, David McLain-Williams’ mother, addresses the court.

“This is a long awaited day for the families of Ashley, David and baby David,” said Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Kreinbrink. Wellington had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend prior to the deadly crash, said Kreinbrink. “His 2010 Jeep Patriot was going 93 mph in a no passing zone when he collided.” Wellington’s blood alcohol content was .116, and there was THC in his system.

Wellington has four prior felony convictions and six prior misdemeanors.

David Wellington and his attorney, Horia Neagos.

“I have caused an immense amount of pain for many people,” said Wellington. “This is a tragedy no one should have to experience. This is a weight I carry forever. I cannot begin to express my apologies. I am deeply remorseful. I am immeasurably sorrowful. I am the cause of this tragedy. I beg for your forgiveness and pray for your peace. I have to do everything possible to change my life.” Wellington said he plans to participate in substance abuse programs while in prison. 

“It’s very difficult to sit at the defense table knowing the feelings back there and trying to make comments that don’t sound hollow,” said defense attorney Horia Neagos. “He was really haunted by what he had done. It’s a horrific tragedy.”

“It’s a horrific case, and the family of the victims have been waiting a long time,” said Judge Sniegowski, who sentenced Welllington to concurrent terms of 228 months (19 years) to 70 years on all five counts. He received credit for 953 days served in jail.

Please consider helping to fund local news. Mason County Press and Oceana County Press are available for free thanks to the generous support of our advertisers and individuals. Three ways to help us: Venmo: @MasonCountyPress; Paypal:; Mail a check to PO BOX 21, Scottville, MI 49454.

This story is copyrighted © 2023, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

As the services of Media Group 31, LLC are news services, the information posted within the sites are archivable for public record and historical posterity. For this reason it is the policy and practice of this company to not delete postings. It is the editor’s discretion to update or edit a story when/if new information becomes available. This may be done by editing the posted story or posting a new “follow-up” story. Media Group 31, LLC or any of its agents have the right to make any changes to this policy. Refer to Use Policy for more information.

Scene of the fatal crash in Walhalla on March 1, 2021.

The 51st Circuit courtroom was packed with family, friends and supporters of David McLain-Williams, Ashley Plotts and their unborn son, David Jr.

Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks

Area Churches