PAPILLION — A Plattsmouth man could face numerous years in jail after a judge in Sarpy County on Tuesday found him guilty of two felony charges in the death of a Bellevue motorcyclist last year.
Michael Burch, 35, could be sentenced up to three years in prison for motor vehicle homicide (reckless driving), a Class 3A felony, and up to four years for failure to stop and render aid, a Class 3 felony, said Michael Mills, an assistant prosecutor for the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office,
A misdemeanor reckless driving charge was dismissed earlier in the day in a plea agreement, Mills said.
Burch pleaded no contest in the Aug. 13, 2019, death of motorcyclist Jody Emmert, 47. Sarpy County District Court Judge Nathan Cox accepted the plea and found Burch guilty.
Burch’s next court appearance will be in October concerning his sentencing, Mills said.
Burch is out of jail after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond, Mills said.
According to the Sarpy County’s Sheriff’s Office, Burch and Emmert were both traveling south on U.S. Highway 75 about 4:30 p.m. when they collided about a quarter-mile south of Highway 34. Emmert was driving a 2014 Harley Davidson, and Burch was driving a 1998 Ford Windstar minivan.
The impact knocked Emmert off the bike and into the roadway, authorities said. He died at the scene.
Investigators said Burch did not stop after the collision, but he later returned to the scene. The collision between the motorcycle and minivan triggered a secondary accident between a 2018 Ford work van and a 2018 Ford F-150 truck that resulted in minor injuries.
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