You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Hearing for man accused in fatal drunken driving crash moved to district court in Chelsea

By Heidi Fenton

A man accused of driving drunk earlier this month, when he allegedly struck and killed a local real estate agent and Vietnam veteran, will make his next court appearance in Chelsea.

Washtenaw County District Court Judge Richard Conlin on Tuesday adjourned a hearing in Kevin Warren’s case at the Washtenaw Avenue Service Center and rescheduled it for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 20 at the 14A-3 District Courthouse in Chelsea.

Warren, 43, of Scio Township is charged with operating while intoxicated causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Authorities say he was behind the wheel of an SUV about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 4 heading east on Marshall Road when he allegedly struck Gary Lillie, who was walking in the same direction.

Investigators said Warren left the scene of the Scio Township crash and went home. After arriving at home, he called 911 and then returned to the scene of the accident near Baker Road, where witnesses were with Lillie.

Lillie, 70, worked for many years to transform and sell vacant land in Washtenaw County and also owned and operated Gary Lillie & Associates Inc., a commercial real estate firm. A memorial service was held Sunday in his honor.

A judge on Aug. 6 set Warren's bond at $25,000, with the right to post 10 percent. Warren paid the necessary $2,500 for his release later that day, an employee at the Washtenaw County Jail said Tuesday.

(This story was revised to correct information regarding the arrest of the suspect.)

Heidi Fenton covers police and courts for Reach her at or 734-623-4673. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Lynn Liston

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

Remember that the court date postponed was only a hearing, not the trial. I believe that it is customary for a defense attorney to try to obtain as much time as possible to prepare their client's defense. I don't expect this case to be resolved for the better part of a year, given that a death occurred. It is better to be procedural and careful than to rush and make mistakes that may affect obtaining a conviction and fair sentencing. And I do very much want to see justice for Gary- a conviction on the full charges and a full-term sentence.

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

According to the Courts website: "District Courts There are three District Courts in Washtenaw County. District Court processes all: Misdemeanors where the penalty is less than 1 year in jail Civil infractions, such as traffic tickets Civil cases where the claim amount is $25,000 and less Landlord/Tenant cases Small Claims cases" Is killing someone while driving drunk a misdemeanor? I thought it would be a felony, especially when the driver leaves the scene. I too want to know why the change and why push the proceedings back?

Merritt Lillie

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

I would like to know the same thing Marilyn!

john e le beau

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

well here we go again,was mr warren high or drunk? I can not see the difference. I wrote some comments a short time ago, we where his friends? who served the last drink? It is against the law to serve a drink,to someone who has to much to drink. where was mr warren coming from?? Friends don,t let friends drive DRUNK. this is so wrong, Mr warren is not the only victim here lets not foreget the ones who could have helped mr warren.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.

Yes, I agree drinking and driving don't mix. BUT think about the information that is missing from the article: Did the police really give a test? In the past, with other DUI articles from they list the number that the person blew on the breathalyzer test. Not this time?? Why would someone bother calling the police telling them I think I hit a deer? Come on, really?? Then after calling the police, he went back to the scene. Is that really fleeing the scene?? What was Gary wearing?? Did state that? Reflectors, bright colors, flashlight, etc. Nope. I could see this happening to anyone, drinking or not. If he was not drinking, would you be feeling the same way???


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

Why was the case adjourned and moved to Chelsea? Is this normal?

Lynn Liston

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

I think the prelimary drug test may refer to both alcohol and drugs. Right now, I'm pretty unhappy that this isn't being concluded faster, but I'd rather see justice come a bit later than be lost because someone hurried. When you love someone and they are taken from you like this, there really isn't anything the law can do to ease your heart or redress your loss, but for the sake of Gary's memory and legacy as a loving and loved man, and the sake of all who cared about him, I want the courts to take their time, go through the proper steps and do it right so that the man who took his life will be given proper sentencing and punishment. I saw a comment that the issue may be how Gary was dressed. Yes, it's good to remind people to dress for visibility, but to me, the main issue in this case is impaired, drunken driving and its terrible, terrible consequences.

Merritt Lillie

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

What I would like to know is WHY his hearing was adjourned, and also why the court date is now more than a month away. I don't understand how this is justice! I am jailed with grief, while the "alleged" person responsible for my Uncle's Death pays $2500 for freedom? How can this be fair and just? Also this article is the first that notes he failed a drug test? So was he on drugs and drunk?

Chris 8 - YPSI PRIDE

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

There is no excuse to be behind the wheel of a motorcycle, a car, a 2 ton SUV, a truck or any other vehicle period after drinking. I drive in the area at night to earn a living. I can not even count how many times I was driving on a dark road and a person "suddenly" appeared in the range of my headlights walking in the roadway or very close to it. The issue with this is by the time they are in the range of my headlights, if I had to react to avoid hitting them it may be to late. I keep my speed reduced intentionally for this reason at night. Anyone who is walking on a dark road at night, wear something on you that is reflective and on a part of your body that moves alot, such as your wrists and the back of your shoes. Myself and other drivers will see you long before you are in the range of headlights. I guarantee that the issue of dark clothing will be the defense in this tragedy. Also walk on the side of the road going against the flow of traffic. This may give you a chance to dive out of the way if a vehicle is coming at you.

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

We do not know if Gary was wearing reflective clothing. He might have been. As your first reply said, a drunk operates under different rules than the rest of us. I will not blame Gary for being killed. As a driver, you have to expect anything at any time. Deer are especially numerous as we know. Slow down so you and whatever you may hit can react.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Very good safety tips that everyone should follow. However, I would argue that if the person who hit this man truly was drunk, all the precaution in the world would likely not have helped. It is well-documented that people who are drunk or high are attracted to lights, especially flashing ones (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. This is why drunk drivers often hit cars that are pulled over with their hazard lights on. So reflective clothing or a flashlight would probably not prevented this tragedy. The only thing that will prevent drunk driving fatalities is if people who have been drinking stay off the road. However, your tips could reduce the true tragic accidents. And I would add (as you suggest) that drivers should slow down in the dark.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

How scary...I'm slightly night-blind and may not have seen this man walking on the road at that time of night. I'm definitely going to be more careful in the future. My prayers go out to both the victim and the suspect.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Witnesses? Can you tell us more? How many people are hanging around and walking this road at midnight? Witnesses?

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

The driver would have slowed down to make the turn onto Marshall. Then to hit a person and think it was a deer and keep going seems unlikely. Alcohol would make this scenario all too possible. There were witnesses.