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Michigan Woman Faces Second-Degree Murder Charges In Tragic Crash

This booking photo provided by the Monroe County, Mich., Sheriff's Office shows Marshella Chidester. The Michigan woman was arraigned Tuesday, April 23, 2024, on second-degree murder and other charges

A Michigan woman, 66, was arraigned on second-degree murder and other charges following a tragic incident at the Swan Boat Club in Monroe County. The woman, Marshella Chidester, allegedly crashed her SUV into the boat club during a child's birthday party, resulting in the deaths of an 8-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother. Several others were injured in the crash.

Chidester did not enter a plea to the eight counts she faces and has been jailed since the incident. Her bond was set at $1.5 million, as requested by prosecutors, due to her alleged substance abuse issues. The defense argued for a lower bond, stating that Chidester had only consumed a glass of wine and a bowl of chili before the crash and had a history of seizures.

Prosecutors countered by stating that Chidester's blood alcohol level was over the legal limit at the time of the crash and that there was no evidence of a seizure. If she posts bond, Chidester will have strict conditions imposed, including surrendering her passport, abstaining from alcohol, wearing a tether, and refraining from driving.

Crash at Swan Boat Club in Monroe County resulted in two children's deaths.
Marshella Chidester, 66, arraigned on second-degree murder charges.
Chidester's bond set at $1.5 million due to alleged substance abuse issues.

The tragic incident also left the children's mother and another sibling injured, with severe injuries reported. Witnesses described the devastation caused by the crash, with one family member expressing the profound impact on their lives.

The boat club, where the incident occurred, is a membership-based organization that hosts various events and provides docking space for boat owners. The community has been deeply affected by the loss of the young siblings and the injuries sustained by others at the birthday party.

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