FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wisc.- A 26-year-old man pleaded no contest Tuesday to homicide charges after he crossed the center line on Highway 151 in Wisconsin and mowed down a group of Michigan bikers.
Two of the men died during that May 2012 wreck, sparking outrage in the Midwestern motorcycle community.
The prosecutor is recommending that Clinton Lovelace serve 20 years. Police say he hit 10 of the 12 bikers, most of whom were from Muskegon starting a tour around the lake.
Many of those same bikers packed the Wisconsin courtroom during the proceedings, saying they wanted more charges but understand why Lovelace was allowed to accept a plea bargain.
He was originally charged with 13 crimes including intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. In court, the judge accepted two counts of homicide by reckless use and three counts of causing injury.
Blood tests showed Lovelace had oxycodone in his system, but the prosecutor says by the time the test was given, the drug was in his system too long for experts to know if he was legally impaired at the time he crossed the center line.
Eric VanDam was one of the motorcyclists hit. He lost his leg in the crash and was in a coma for weeks.
“I want him to remember my face. I want him to see me; I want to personalize it. I want him to see I’m a real person, not just a name on a piece of paper,” VanDam said.
The bikers, who came from all over Wisconsin and Michigan to show support, say they plan on coming back for Lovelace’s sentencing on Feb. 6.