Kent County

Judge: Josh Kuiper's case will move forward

24 Hour News 8 web staff - GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- Former Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Josh Kuiper will still stand trial for a November car crash, despite efforts to get the case thrown out.

The charges, including reckless driving causing serious injury and a moving violation causing serious injury, stem from Kuiper's Nov. 19 wrong-way, head-on crash on Union Avenue SE that injured a Grand Rapids man.

Friday, defense attorney Craig Haehnel argued that the man hit in that crash, Daniel Empson, didn't suffer injuries severe enough to justify the charge that will be argued in front of a jury.

The charge includes verbiage that states the prosecution must prove "loss of use" of a limb to prove Kuiper's actions caused serious injury.

In this case, Empson and a doctor testified at a March preliminary exam they he suffered a fractured shoulder.

Haehnel argued in front of Kent County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Rossi Friday afternoon that the hairline fracture and recovery did not completely limit Empson from using his arm, and therefore, the case should be sent back to district court.

Judge Joe Rossi did not agree with Haehnel's argument, and denied the motion. The defense now has the opportunity to appeal.

A date has yet to be set for the trial.


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