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Michigan Woman Withdraws No-Contest Plea in Pond Crash Deaths of Her 3 Young Sons

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP (AP) — A western Michigan woman whose three young sons drowned after her SUV crashed into an ice-covered pond has withdrawn her no-contest plea after a judge rejected a plea deal calling for her to serve one year in jail.

Leticia Gonzales, 31, withdrew her plea Thursday, shortly after conferring with her attorneys, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The case will now be set for trial.

The Holland-area woman was in court Thursday to be sentenced. But Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing said he would not go along with her agreement with prosecutors and would sentence her to four to 15 years in prison.


Gonzales was charged in July 2022 with three counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, but pleaded no contest to a single count in her sons’ February 2022 deaths.

Ottawa County police said Gonzales was driving her sport-utility vehicle when she veered off the left side of a road, jumped a curb and the SUV rolled into an ice-covered retention pond. Her sons, Jerome III, 4, Jeremiah, 3, and Josiah, 1, drowned while strapped into their child-restraint seats.

Gonzales escaped with only minor injuries. Police allege she was impaired by two doses of methadone, a medication used to treat drug addiction and pain relief, that she had taken the morning of the crash.

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