Waterford man arraigned in trooper’s dragging death
Clarkston — A Waterford Township man was arraigned Friday on charges resulting from the August dragging death of a state trooper.
Charles Raymond Warren Jr., 69, who has been free during the investigation, appeared before Judge Kelley Kostin in Clarkston 52-2 District Court on charges of reckless driving causing death and failure to stop at the scene of an accident, when at fault, resulting in death. Both are felonies; each carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison on conviction.
Kostin entered a not guilty plea for Warren and released him on $100,000 personal bond pending a Nov. 6 probable cause hearing on the charges.
Trooper Chad Wolf, a seven-year state police veteran from Fenton, was on motorcycle patrol on Dixie Highway near Interstate 75 in Springfield Township about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 28. A passenger vehicle driven by Warren and towing a utility trailer collided with his motorcycle and dragged him for more than three miles on the interstate.
“This has been a big investigation and accidents like this can take time,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said. “There was an extensive crime scene ... (state police) understand that ... everyone is looking forward to him facing the criminal charges in court.”
Neither Warren nor his attorney could be reached for comment Friday. Among conditions of his bond, Warren must wear a GPS tether and cannot leave the state without permission.
During the past eight years Warren has had numerous traffic violations, according to the Secretary of State, including seven tickets for speeding, one for disobeying a traffic signal and one for a prohibited turn. Most were for driving 5-10 mph over the speed limit, but Warren was also cited in 2009 for driving with a suspended license. His license was reinstated in 2010, and he’s since been cited another five times for infractions including prohibited turns and lacking insurance.
Warren told investigators he never knew he hit Wolf and had pulled into a rest area because he thought he was having trouble with one of the tires on his trailer. That’s when he discovered Wolf under the trailer. Wolf was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead several hours later, investigators said.
Warren cooperated with investigators and was released at the scene.
Wolf’s horrific on-duty death has taken an emotional toll on those who knew him, as well as on strangers who packed a Fenton High School gymnasium last month to pay their respects.
An estimated 3,500 people, including Gov. Rick Snyder and fellow police officers from as far away as California, attended Wolf’s funeral.
Wolf served at the Jackson, Flint and Metro State Police posts.
Shaw said that several fundraisers have been held for Wolf’s family. A GoFundMe account has raised nearly $188,000 from 2,441 donations for his wife, Erin, and their four children, ages 4-12: Autumn, Mikah, Korbin and Koltin. He is also survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.
A state police trooper since 2008, Wolf was a youth minister and active at his church, Great Lakes Holly Baptist in Holly.
Detroit News Staff Writer Candice Williams contributed.