Early sentenced to 18 months for vehicular homicide

by Kim Robins - Posted on Sep 15, 2010 - 03:19 PM

Michael A. Early, 20, of Gloucester, was sentenced to 18 months in jail Tuesday for involuntary vehicular manslaughter. The charge, to which Early pleaded guilty in July, stemmed from the Jan. 17 vehicle accident that took the life of his friend, 20-year-old Brandon Grimm.

Early, who was home after recently completing U.S. Marine Corps boot camp, hosted a party the night of the fatal accident. At some point, he allowed Grimm’s girlfriend, Jessica West, to drive his truck and the two, along with Grimm, went for a drive, according to testimony.

On Route 198 approaching Hell Neck Road, West pulled over to give the wheel to Early who wanted to "show her how a man drives a truck," according to testimony. Speeding on Hell Neck, Early lost control and the truck hit an embankment before rolling several times.

Early and Grimm were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected. Grimm died at the scene while Early and West sustained serious injuries. At the hospital, Early was found to have a blood alcohol content of .14.