Greenville man pleads guilty of causing Carly Birkla’s death
Micah J. Lynch, 22, Greenville, pleaded guilty in Harrison Superior Court Thursday for causing the death of Carly M. Birkla while driving drunk.
Birkla, 20, Leavenworth, died at the scene.
Lynch told the court he’d been drinking whiskey prior to the wreck on U.S. 150 on March 29, 2005. He admitted he’d been too intoxicated to drive without being a danger to other people. Birkla was killed when the Oldsmobile Lynch was driving struck a tree and rolled onto its top. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Harrison County Coroner Steve Hamm.
At the time of the crash, another drunk driving charge was pending against Lynch and he had previously been guilty of a misdemeanor charge of alcohol possession by a minor, said Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd.
Judge Roger D. Davis ordered a pre-sentence investigation in the case and set sentencing for Aug. 31 at 1:30 p.m.
Many of Birkla’s distraught relatives were in the courtroom to hear the plea change and had agreed to the terms, the judge noted.
But Byrd said the family was ‘appalled’ to learn that in Indiana, the maximum sentence for driving drunk causing death is just eight years.
Lynch, seated at the defense table with his back to the audience, held his head down as he responded to the judge’s questions with a tense, at times halting, ‘Yes, sir.’
Under the agreement, a copy of which has been filed with the court, Lynch will plead guilty to the felony and receive an eight-year sentence, Two of those years will be suspended, during which time Lynch will remain on probation. He will be compelled to follow all of the terms of probation or he could be sent back to prison.
Under Indiana’s program allowing time off for good behavior, Lynch could be eligible for release in three years
Lynch is represented by public defender Stanley Robison, a New Albany attorney.