GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A suspected drunken driver charged with hitting and killing an Ottawa County couple will spend at least 14 years in prison.
Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing had little sympathy for Bruce Ross at his sentencing, pointing out that Ross has never sought treatment for his alcoholism.
“You’ve done nothing to rectify your reckless behavior, you pose a clear and present risk to the public. Not on my watch,” he said.
On the eve of his February trial, Ross pleaded no contest to being a third-time offender and drunken driving causing death in the Aug. 5 crash that killed 72-year-old Larry Hein and 67-year-old Joyce Hein.
The couple was riding a motorcycle trike when authorities say Ross’ SUV hit them at the intersection of 40th Avenue and Cleveland Street in Wright Township, northeast of Coopersville.
Loved ones packed the courtroom Monday to share how the deadly crash has impacted their lives and echo Hulsing’s sentiment about getting Ross off the streets.
Ross said he was sad for what he did.
“There is no excuse for my actions. I’m not a bad person, I just made a mistake. I pray that you’ll forgive me. I’m sorry for your loss,” he said,
Hulsing ultimately sentenced Ross to 14-30 years in prison. Ross will be eligible for parole on his 78th birthday.
***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Ross’ minimum sentence was nine years in prison. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***