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Michigan woman sentenced to at least 17 years for causing crash that killed Monroe Animal Control officer

Michele Dropulich pleaded no contest in June to second-degree murder, the most serious of the charges she faced. Officer Darrian Young was killed in June 2020.

MONROE, Mich — Editor's note: The above video originally aired on Dec. 12, 2020.

A Michigan woman was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison Thursday for driving drunk and killing a Monroe County Animal Control officer in 2020.

Michele Dropuilch, 47, of Hudson, Mich., accepted a plea deal in June and pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. The agreement capped the minimum sentence at 17 years.

She was sentenced in Monroe's 38th Circuit Court to 204-360 months.

According to police, Dropulich was driving a 2004 Dodge Caravan the morning of June 4. By 8 a.m., she had been involved in several high-speed property damage crashes and nearly struck a pedestrian in LaSalle.

Police say she fled from the scene of those incidents. She was seen driving on Front Street in Monroe with the bumper hanging off her vehicle and airbags deployed.

Monroe County Animal Control Officer Darrian Young was on her way to work and stopped at the intersection of M-50 and Raisinville Road. When the light turned green, she proceeded through the intersection when she was hit by Dropulich, who drove through a red light at 80 mph.

Officer Young died from her injuries the next day.

Responding officers overheard Dropulich say she "wasn't driving" despite being the only occupant of the vehicle and pinned in the driver's seat. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.137, nearly twice the legal amount.


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