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A popular Detroit artist will stand trial in the drunk driving death of his wife’s best friend.

Marcus Omar Glenn is accused of having a blood alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit when his vehicle hit a guardrail at West Jefferson and Griswold around 11:15 p.m. Feb. 4. He registered at 0.218. The legal limit is 0.08.

He is charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol causing death, a felony, and bound over for trial. If convicted, he could spend up to 15 years in prison.

The victim, Hatta Funches, 44, was in the back seat of the car. Glenn’s wife was in the front passenger seat.

Funches was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Funches died of a fatal whiplash, Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. Kilak Kesha testified Thursday during Glenn’s preliminary examination.

Funches, who was sitting behind Glenn, was propelled forward on impact. Police said Glenn was driving just over the 35 mph speed limit when the incident occurred.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Brian Surma asked 36th District Judge Joseph Baltimore to bind Glenn over to stand trial for Funches’ death.

Glenn’s attorney objected pointing out Funches was not wearing a seat belt.

“I didn’t hear Dr. Kesha say had she been belted and wearing a seat belt she would have died,” said defense attorney Gerald Gleason, who asked the charge be lowered to a misdemeanor. It is Glenn’s second drunk-driving offense, said police. He was ticketed in July 2008 for drinking and driving in Southfield, according to Michigan Secretary of State records.

Glenn’s next court date is March 31 in Wayne Circuit Court.

Glenn is described on the website for Southfield’s Park West Gallery as “one of the most exciting young artists to emerge in recent years” and whose artwork has been sold in more than 65 countries.

Some of Glenn’s work has been displayed at Southfield’s Beans & Cornbread and They Say Restaurant in Detroit and the at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Glenn’s work also graced the cover of the 56th Grammy Awards’ program book, promotional poster and tickets in 2014. The artwork was titled “One Nite Outta This World.”

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

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