Man who struck, killed Misty Kurmas files motion to withdraw ple - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Man who struck, killed Misty Kurmas files motion to withdraw plea or be resentenced

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FLINT (WJRT) - (04/21/14) - Her family thought they'd never have to see his face again. But they could, and soon, in court.

Mark Blount, sentenced to life in prison for crashing into and killing 13-year-old Misty Kurmas, wants to withdraw his plea or be re-sentenced.

There's still a small memorial for that little girl at the crash site at the corner of Saginaw and Tobias, in Flint.

Misty's family lives just a few blocks away and fears they will have to rehash what happened, in September of 2011, all over again.

"That's not fair. It's not fair to my children to have to go through this again. Or me," said Martha Walker, Misty's mother. "Misty should be resting in peace and here we are still fighting. That's not fair."

Blount, now 30 and serving life in prison, claims his plea was coerced and that his attorney was ineffective, according to court records. Blount's new attorney filed a motion seeking to withdraw his plea or be resentenced.

Blount pleaded "no contest" to involuntary manslaughter and operating a motor vehicle without a driver's license causing death in November 2012, about one year after Misty Kurmas was killed.

Michigan State Police have said Blount, wanted for an outstanding, federal drug warrant, was being watched by federal agents and by investigators with the Flint Area Narcotics Group, or FANG, the day of the crash.

A marked, state police cruiser, with lights and sirens activated, tried to stop Blount.

Walker believes the chase could have been stopped.

But just seconds later, Blount swerved and struck Misty as she was trying to cross the street.

Police arrested him after he tried to run away after the crash.

"I know my apology will never heal the pain she must feel, but I truly am sorry," said Blount during his sentencing hearing in January of 2013.

Court records show he says he thought he was being chased by someone trying to harm him and his vehicle went out of control when he tried to stop.

Blount was sentenced as a habitual offender.

Court records show he claims his guidelines were misscored and his life sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Blount's former attorney James Piazza says he believes the sentence was disproportionate, but declined comment on the other claims as he hasn't seen the motion.

Our calls to Blount's new attorney were not returned.

The Genesee County Prosecutor's Office responded to the motion and Prosecutor David Leyton says he's confident they will prevail.

Another hearing is set for mid-June.
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