An Oakland County deputy has been sentenced to probation in an on-duty car crash in Pontiac last fall that claimed the lives of two men.
Dennis Alvis, 50, was sentenced to 18 months’ probation Wednesday in Waterford 51st District Court, the Detroit News reports. He also was ordered to serve 250 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine after he pleaded guilty to two counts of a moving violation causing death. The charges were punishable by up to a year in prison.
James Greer, 24, and Joseph Lawton-Hooks, 25, who were best friends, died in the Nov. 1 crash.
Alvis was reportedly responding to assist other deputies and he sped through a red light at Cesar Chavez and Johnson in Pontiac at about 65 mph, colliding with a vehicle driven by the two victims who were proceeding through a green light at the intersection.
It was determined that Alvis had not activated his siren, though his lights were flashing. Another patrol car with both lights and siren activated was traveling behind Alvis.
Alvis, a 25-year police veteran, apologized to the families of both victims before he was sentenced. His attorney, Mitchell Ribitwer, said Alvis “wasn’t driving recklessly and he didn’t mean to hit him.”
“He feels horrible about what happened but it’s something that can’t be undone," the attorney said.
The families of the two victims have filed civil lawsuits against the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, according to a report in the Oakland Press.
In her lawsuit, Renee Greer seeks damages of $25,000 or greater, plus court costs and attorney fees. The family’s attorney, Thomas Stroble, said the family is “obviously … traumatized” over the death of their only son.
In her lawsuit filed in December, Angela Lawton is also seeking damages of at least $25,000, court costs and attorney fees.
The lawsuits weren’t unexpected, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said, reiterating officials “sincere condolences” to the families.