63rd District Court

Driver was five times over legal limit

December 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

The driver who was going the wrong way on the East Beltline and caused a fatal crash had five times over the legal limit of alcohol to drive, the Michigan State Police said Tuesday, December 1. Thirty-year-old Aaron Hayes was killed Monday, November 23 on his way to work as a first grade teacher in Greenville. He was northbound when a vehicle operated by Leonel Franco-Avina, 38 years old, hit Hayes car head on while driving the wrong way. Witnesses told investigators that Franco-Avina’s vehicle may have been driving without lights. There were alcohol and beer containers in the car, which was not owned by Franco-Avina. Franco-Avina, born July 18, 1971, was arraigned in 63rd District Court before Judge Sara Smolenski on a two-count warrant for Second Degree Murder and Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death. He was arraigned at Spectrum Health downtown campus where he will remain, guarded by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department until he can be released to the jail. A search warrant was obtained for his blood to determine the amount of alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. His level was .425 percent, over five times the legal limit in Michigan of .08. The accident remains under investigation.

Rockford’s court remembered

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Although Judge Servaas has been prominent in the fight to keep the court in Rockford, the entire staff and the services the court provides to the northern district of the 63rd District Court will be a loss to the community. The personal and conveniently located court house closing marks a historic day. We thank the court and staff for the good work provided for so many for so long.