Coldwater Man Enters Plea In Death Of Bicyclist
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

(COLDWATER) – A Coldwater man has entered into a plea agreement regarding the death of a bicyclist.

Branch County Circuit Court officials say 29 year old Jacob Ward plead no contest to a charge of operating while intoxicated causing death. With the plea agreement, Branch County Prosecutor Zach Stempien is dismissing charges of moving violations causing death; reckless driving causing death; use of methamphetamine and use of marijuana. Stempien is also dropping a habitual offender fourth offense sentencing enhancer.

Ward was driving an SUV that struck and killed 25 year old Era Hall of Coldwater, who was riding her bicycle on Old U.S. 27 near Nye Road on April 12, 2021. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ward’s case was scheduled to go to trial on April 19.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 1. Ward could be given a prison term of up to 15 years and fines that could reach up to $10,000.