Cameron Daniel Burrows, 42, was facing a sentence of up to 15 years in prison on a charge of reckless driving causing death and up to five years for reckless driving causing serious injury. Burrows is a four-time habitual offender, which means the maximum sentences for these charges could be doubled.
Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing said he put off the sentencing because he needed time to investigate the information he had received in a letter over the weekend. The judge said the information could have a significant impact on Burrows’ sentencing.
Burrows’ charges are the result of a Jan. 3 crash in Holland Township in which Sandra DeBoer, 65, was killed. DeBoer’s 10-year-old grandson, Gavin, was seriously injured in the crash.
Burrows entered no-contest pleas to the charges in October. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such in determining a defendant’s sentencing.
After DeBoer family members talked about the impact of the crash, Hulsing said he had received a letter saying that Burrows was the driver of a snowmobile in a crash that killed a child. No further information was released about the incident, but defense attorney Damian Nunzio said the snowmobile crash was an accident and his client was never criminally charged.
Hulsing set a new sentencing date of Dec. 18.
After the hearing, Sandra DeBoer’s eldest son, Ryan, said: “We’re a little shocked. We were not aware of this letter.”
While giving his victim impact statement in court Monday, Ryan said that his mother was the center of the family.
“There are no words to describe what she was to all of us,” he said.
Ryan DeBoer told Burrows that he stole his mother’s future, took Gavin’s innocence and caused great sorrow for the entire family.
“And for what? He was in a hurry? He was not paying attention?” Ryan asked.
Ryan’s wife, Kim, spoke separately of what the crash did to their son. The boy spent five days in the hospital, 10 days at Mary Free Bed and several months recovering, she said. He had many surgeries, plus he had to deal with the loss of his grandmother.
“He’s never been angry at you,” Kim told Burrows. “In fact, he asked if the other driver was hurt.”
Ryan DeBoer said he planned to return for next month’s sentencing.