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Woman sentenced to 70 years in prison for killing 2 cyclists in Michigan charity ride

Woman sentenced to 70 years in prison for killing 2 cyclists in Michigan charity ride

A woman has been sentenced to 70 years in prison for killing 2 cyclists in Michigan charity ride.

The woman named Mandy Benn has been handed a severe sentence of at least 70 years in prison for the tragic deaths of two bicyclists. The fatal accident occurred during a charity ride, leading to the imposition of a rare consecutive punishment by the judge in Ionia County.

After facing charges for causing the deaths of Edward Erickson, 48, and Michael Salhaney, 57, Mandy Benn, 44, found herself on the wrong side of the law. The two bicyclists lost their lives in 2022 during a three-day endurance event organized by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The court heard that Benn, under the influence of drugs, crossed the center line, colliding with the group of cyclists on a rural road.

In a departure from the usual concurrent sentences in Michigan courts, Judge Ronald Schafer imposed two 35-year terms consecutively on Benn. The judge emphasized the gravity of Benn’s actions, stating, “This is not an accident. … There was a series of choices you made at some point to ingest this cocktail of narcotics, and that led to everything we saw.”

Benn’s Conviction

In October, the court convicted Benn of second-degree murder along with several other charges related to the incident. The court proceedings revealed the devastating impact of her choices on the victims and their families. The judge’s decision to stack the sentences highlights the severity of the consequences stemming from Benn’s actions.

During the court session on Tuesday, Mandy Benn expressed her remorse for the tragic incident. She apologized and took the opportunity to read out the names of the deceased and injured bicyclists. “I know you haven’t seen much of it, but I am very much so sorry,” Benn said. “I never in my life had any intent of hurting anyone. One moment — that moment — changed the outcome of a lot of futures.”

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