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A 49-year-old man charged in the drunken driving incident that claimed the life of a Sumpter Township girl pleaded guilty Tuesday in the child’s death.

Charles James Cahill Jr. of Sumpter Township was charged with drinking and drinking and causing the wreck that killed Victoria Mack on July 27. Authorities said he had a high blood-alcohol level when his vehicle plowed into the van the girl was riding in with family members when the fatal crash occurred.

He was charged with second-degree murder, operating with high blood alcohol causing death and operating with a suspended license causing death, operating under the influence of liquor, third offense, and open intoxicants in a vehicle.

State records show Cahill has faced 12 driving while intoxicated charges.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 13 before Third Circuit Judge Bruce Morrow.

Authorities allege Cahill was speeding in a 55-mph zone and driving on a suspended license when his vehicle rear-ended a van at a stop sign. The crash occurred at Martinsville and Willis roads in Sumpter Township. Four others in the van were injured.

Victoria died several days later from her injuries.

According to the Michigan Department of State, Cahill’s long list of driving violations dates to 1986 and continued through May. His driving record includes multiple instances of driving with a suspended license, disobeying traffic signals and seven accidents. According to his driving record, two accidents were listed on June 27, 1996 — one in Westland with no injuries, another in Livonia with one person injured.

Cahill’s driver’s license was revoked in 1990, according to the Secretary of State. His past drunken driving offenses have landed him in court and prisons.

Cahill was sent to prison in late 1997 for two counts of OUIL third offense and an OUIL third habitual in early 1998. He received 30 months to five years on that conviction. He received 300 days of jail credit as part of his sentence.

In 2008, Cahill returned to prison on a new drunken driving conviction, two counts of OUIL third offense on a three- to five-year sentence. He was paroled March 2011 on a two-year term and discharged from parole in 2012.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

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