Fatal Car Crash Claims Local Couple

Two teens are dead following a car crash in Pere Marquette Township. The accident happened yesterday around noon on Pere Marquette Highway. 19-year-old Casey Jean O'Brien, of Branch, attempted a u-turn, near the ramp, and in the process was hit by a semi-truck. O'Brien died instantly. Her passenger, 18-year-old Nicholas Allen Smith, of Baldwin, was taken to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital where he later passed away due to injuries sustained in the crash. His younger sister, 10-year-old MacKenzie Smith, was in the backseat, and is currently in critical condition at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. The two teens leave behind a 5-month-old daughter. Through investigation, it is believed the three were on their way to Michigan's Adventure and were attempting to find the southbound US-31 on-ramp, which they had passed, and were attempting a u-turn to return to it. The driver of the semi-truck, a 28-year-old Ludington man was uninjured in the crash.



Man Wanted in Mason County for Burglary Warrants

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating RAYMOND ALLEN ANTHONY, W/M DOB 03/25/1977.

ANTHONY is wanted on two felony burglary warrants out of Mason County (one of the warrants carries 6 counts of B&E).  The warrants stem from investigations into breaking and entering cases at Marek’s Auto Parts and Always Antiques. 

ANTHONY is described as a white male, 5’11”, 180 with brown hair and brown eyes with tattoos on both arms and his chest.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of ANTHONY is asked to call either the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at (231)843-3475 or Silent Observer at 888-786-7274.

Sean Michael Phillips Prelim Recessed

It will be two weeks before it's determined if Sean Michael Phillips will face open murder charges against his daughter, Baby Kate. Phillips appeared in court this morning for a preliminary hearing. Judge Wadel informed the court that he will review the exhibits and arguments presented to him, before making a final decision on whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge Phillips with open murder. The prosecution argued that there were three pieces of evidence to charge Phillips... but the totality of the note, written to Kate's mother, Ariel Courtland, is proof he committed a crime. The letter states that he can't explain much but Kate is "somewhere peaceful." Michigan Assistant Attorney General Donna Pendergrast also said DNA testing done by the FBI and an independent forensic lab confirm the letter was written by Phillips, while serving time in prison. defense attorney, David Glancy, argues that the evidence presented by the prosecution doesn't prove Phillips was acting with criminal intent or that the crime was premeditated. Glancy says there is only enough to charge him with manslaughter and not first- or second-degree murder.


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