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Posted on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

Man who struck and killed Gary Lillie in drunken driving crash to serve up to 15 years

By Kyle Feldscher

The Scio Township man who pleaded guilty to driving drunk and killing veterans advocate Gary Lillie in August 2011 will serve up to 15 years in prison, records show.

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Kevin Warren

Kevin Warren was sentenced Friday to between 19 months and 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death in November, records show. He must also pay a restitution of $8,273.03 to members of Lillie’s family.

Lillie was 70 years old when he was killed Aug. 4, 2011 while walking along Marshall Road near Baker Road. Lillie was killed when Warren struck him with the passenger side of his Chevrolet Avalanche.

Lillie was an active member of the veterans community in Washtenaw County.

Warren was at a golf course earlier in the day and blood tests showed he was driving with a 0.12 percent blood alcohol level. Michigan’s legal limit is .08 percent. He told investigators he was drinking at a golf course earlier in the day before driving home.

On the night of the incident, Lillie was walking on the side of Marshall Road when Warren’s Avalanche struck him, sending him into a ditch on the side of the road. Warren allegedly continued driving before returning to the scene of the crash. He told deputies he thought he had struck an animal when the contact initially took place.

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Gary Lillie

Warren told investigators he dropped his cellphone and was reaching for it when he hit Lillie.

After more than a year of court hearings and delays, Warren accepted a plea offer and pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death on Nov. 1. In exchange, prosecutors dropped one charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing death.

The maximum prison sentence for operating while intoxicated causing death is 15 years in prison.

John Shea, Warren's attorney, declined to comment on the sentencing when reached Monday by has requested video of the hearing from the Washtenaw County Trial Court. That request should be completed later on this week. Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 11:39 p.m.

What is the Minimum?!?


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

Ms. Lillie Sorry, I didn't know all that you point out, but my point was to warn people that even a few drinks can put one over the limit with the intent of stopping people from thinking that "I've only had a coupla drinks, so I'm ok to drive". I'm really trying to get people to see that the DUI guy or gal in the mirror may be themselves. Sorry I didn't know all the facts you allege were there in this particular tragic case. Again, I'm sorry for your loss, really!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

I took your original comments exactly as you just stated them and I agree totally. As I have said many times, people think nothing of watching their friends stagger out of a bar or their house with their keys in their hand. The mentality is "I can hold my liquor". Sad.

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

Thank you Lovaduck

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

Kyle, thank you again for your continued coverage. Please let us know if you have any further questions prior to your full article.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Raise the legal limit back to .10. Stop the needless persecution of social drinkers.

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

mstairs, You may be losing site of this whole case. This man did not get charged just for drunk driving. He was charged for KILLING and INNOCENT man! A man who was minding his own business taking a relaxing evening walk down his country road that he loved so much! Evidence PROVED that intoxication played the role in the fact that Mr. Warren hit and killed my uncle. Things would be MUCH different if Mr. Warren just got pulled over and never hurt anyone. Mr. Warren himself could have been killed by driving with such a high limit of alcohol. Arguing to change the legal limit even higher would only alot for more senseless tragedies.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 9:04 p.m.

Merritt- Until 1970 the legal bac was .15. The National Safety Council set up a study to develop tests that could be used to determine intoxication. After doing research, the two groups determined that a driver with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher could be presumed to be inebriated, while a driver with a BAC under 0.15 could not. DUI laws and penalties began getting stricter in the 1970s. This is mainly due to groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) . The results? A Nanny State which looks for ways to tax and punish everyday citizens.

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

mstairs, do you consider downing 6 crown royals on the rocks in less than two hours "social drinking"? In testimony, Mr. Warren said he did not drink any alcohol after leaving the golf course. There was a 4 hour window between that time and the time the next morning when his blood alcohol was measured. He was beyond legally drunk and the facts, evidence and testimony proved it. Mr. Warren himself said he was guilty and he apologized.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

"Kevin Warren was sentenced Friday to between 19 months and 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death in November, records show. He must also pay a restitution of $8,273.03 to members of Lillie's family." Kyle, could you please find out what an inmate has to do to only get 19 moths of incarceration for killing someone. Or what determines if they serve two years, or 7 years or 10 years? Why is there such a range for this crime? How many will actually never serve a real maximum sentence? What are the statistics? I also agree that many, many people's drinking choices could produce this result. They have not had anything like this happen - yet. But it is there choice (unfortunately) to drink and drive.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Would love to know why my comment was removed. The article fails to mention what side of the road the victim was walking on.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Thanks Kyle. I was anble to find one of your other articles wich was linked to in the article that this story was linked to.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

justcurios - Thanks, genius. Unfortunately, my previous comment was removed where I said the driver deserves to serve whatevr is decided. I was just curious to know whether or not he was walking facing traffic or if he was on the same side of the road as the driver. I looked at a previous article and didn't see anythkng there either. Maybe you can point me in the correct direction since you seem to have the answer.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

whodat - The article states he was struck with the passenger side of the vehicle. In previous stories, I've written the Avalanche was eastbound at the time of the collision. It stands to reason Gary was walking on the south side of the road.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

Where he walked didn't kill him. A drunk driver killed him. Read the previous articles if you want to know more.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

A sentence of 19 months to 15 years? What a huge range! What will determine how long he actually serves?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

Well, of course Mr. Warren will be the model prisoner and will stay away from alcohol while there so yes, he will most likely be out in 19 months. His real sentence will be remembering as much as he could about what happened and dealing with all of the consequences materially to his life, as well as his own family. But sadly, I have no pity.

Susan Ursus

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 11:47 p.m.

Michigan has been emptying and closing prisons for several years to balance the budget. The result? Fewer beds and more pressure to get criminals back on the street as soon as possible. If he does a day more than 19 months I will be surprised.

Lynn Liston

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

Mr. Warren will serve the full minimum sentence of 19 months, at which time he can be considered for parole. Since the parole evaluation process will begin prior to the end of this 19 months, he might be released when the 19 months are completed, then will have to meet parole requirements for whatever length of time is required. If denied parole the first time, he would have another 6 months to serve before being considered again.

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Everything will depend on the parole board at the prison, it is no longer in the court's hands. Judge Swartz did all he could, as did the prosecution team, to whom we are forever grateful for all of their dedication and hard work.

zip the cat

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

15 yrs,please,how absured He'll be out in less than the minimum Just like I said in previous replys about this guy A no nothing sentence I hope his family sues him and his insurance companys socks off Sounds like a Melinda Morris type of farce


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Truth In Sentencing (TIS) does not allow early release - the minimum must be served. It was a tragic accident which should have been avoided by not drinking, but was still an accident without premeditation to kill. I used to live on Marshall Road and it can be a dangerous road to walk on even during daylight hours without drinkers due to the narrowness of the road, brush & trees, and hilliness of the road. Again, not justification, but people walking down that road or similar roads need to be ultra-sensitive to vehicles. I myself had close calls during the daylight hours so I stopped walking there. One man's life is over and for all intents and purposes, so is the other's. Mr. Lillie is gone and will be missed and Mr. Warren will have to live the rest of his life knowing he took another man's life. Sentencing isn't just punishment, but also for reform. The best outcome will be for Mr. Warren to pass on what he has learned to others who may do the same and to warn them to not drink and drive and maybe a future persons' life will be saved. You cannot go back and change the past no matter how much we want, but we can teach others not to do as we've done.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

zip - A couple things here. First, in Michigan it's not possible to get out in less than the minimum. It will be at least 19 months until he's eligible for parole. Second, Judge Swartz could not go above the 15 year maximum he gave Mr. Warren. For the charge he pled guilty to, 15 years was the most he could possibly serve.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 8:08 a.m.

Just suggesting: the legal limit for blood alcohol content for drivers is .08 percent. Why not lower it to discourage any drinking at all before driving? For other kinds of licensees, it's .02 percent.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

Why not outlaw it? Lets outlaw STUPIDITY also!

greg s

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:24 a.m.

Far as I'm concerned he should get life, that's what he has done to the family of Mr Lillie.

Susan Ursus

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:20 a.m.

He won't do much more than 19 months. What a disgrace.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:48 a.m.

Do you realize that one,, let us say, vodka and tonic and a beer would put you at .12% alcohol. That by NO means justifies the tragedy which occurred. How many people, however, (and this is intended as a warning, not a justification) have more than that every weekend or even night and drive home feeling that they are not under the influence or are "good drunk drivers" as a friend of mine once said to me ironically. Mr. Warren was not a "falling down drunk". He was a middle class golfer who had one too many---LIKE MANY OTHERS! The death of Mr. Lille is a terrible tragedy and I'm certainly NOT excusing Mr. Warren, but bear in mind that it could be anyone who "socially" drinks and then drives!

Susan Ursus

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

It's not getting on a pedestal to point out that drunk driving is not something that any person could accidentally stumble into without knowing (as Cash and others have argued). As I have pointed out, it really takes a good amount of booze to hit 0.12%. It takes less to hit 0.08%, but it's still enough to give most non-alcoholics pause. In the case of 0.08%, a 200 lb man would need to consume 4 to 5 cocktails in an hour to get to that point. That's one drink every 12 to 15 minutes. If you think that a lot of people are drinking that much that quickly, you are either poorly informed or an alcoholic. If you don't believe me, there are numerous BAC calculators available online.

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 7:55 p.m.

Lovaduck, The reason for the discrepancy between his court recorded blood alcohol level is that there were MANY hours (4 or more at least) that passed before the BA was tested, hence the reason it would appear that he may have been at a lower limit, but all the evidence proves he was highly intoxicated.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Sorry for your loss, Merritt, but if he'd had that much, he'd be WAY over .12%. That report wasn't in the article, but I still can't believe (unless he weighed 300 lbs. he wouldn't have been WAY over the figure given. My point was just that people think they can get away with drinking far more than they should and then getting behind the wheel. The reason we all have this "hang 'em high" attitude is that we never see OURSELVES in the position of DUI. I'm urging caution of all drivers, not--I repeat--excusing this man's actions. I'm just saying they're more widespread than one thinks.

Merritt Lillie

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

Lovaduck. Mr. Warren was NOT drinking "socially". Evidence showed that after spending the day on the golf course and drinking beer, he downed 6 crown royals on the rocks inside the bar there, in a two hour period- before he killed my uncle....That is NOT social drinking!!!!!


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

"People need to think if they have ever driven with a few drinks under their belts..." If you reread my post I was not referring to the man in the article above. I was referring to the .08 and to the very real possibility that some posters could have few drinks and get to that point....and have an accident that could result in prison time! So don't be so quick to condemn. This is my way of saying ....get off the pedestal and face facts. You may have been lucky driving home after a drinking event. But you may not always be so lucky. Don't tempt fate.

Susan Ursus

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 11:13 a.m.

Cash: 0.12% is not "a few drnks."


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

Lovaduck, thanks for a rational post. It is so easy to sit back and fire darts at someone. People need to think if they have ever driven with a few drinks under their belts...if they had an accident caused by dropping a phone or sliding on ice etc and hit someone walking on the road.....the fact they'd had the drinks would cause them to go to prison. It does not have to be proven that drinking alcohol CAUSED the accident.

Susan Ursus

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

There are a number of variables that influence BAC, including weight, sex, number of drinks, and amount of time drinking. But make *no* mistake: 0.12% is not the result of 1 or 2 drinks on the links. A 200 lb man drinking over the course of 2 hours would need to consume 7 or 8 drinks to hit 0.12%. 7 or 8. No rational person can drink that much and think he's OK to drive. An alcoholic might, though.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

When you drink and drive and kill someone, it is NOT an accident. It is a decision. To me 15 years for a life that is gone forever isn't nearly enough.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

jj- Mr. Warren will not be eligible for parole until he serves 19 months. In Michigan, you cannot serve less than the minimum.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

Actually it's less than 2 years if he behaves. Unless he starts shiv fights in the prison yard, he'll be out in 19 months.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

That's what the law says for killing someone while driving drunk. Finally a judge that gives the right sentence! Thanks.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 12:37 a.m.

Brandon - You are probably correct! He will be a model citizen, join AA in prison, start of a Christian fellowship program and last, but not least, he will become a born again Christian. He will be out in 19.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

I agree with you, but reading the article it says, "Kevin Warren was sentenced Friday to between 19 months and 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death in November, records show." Unfortunately, I have a feeling that 19 MONTHS is more likely. Sad