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Published: Thursday, 3/14/2013

Michigan man gets early release from prison in fatal traffic crash


An Ottawa Lake, Mich. man involved in a drunken-driving crash that killed three young men was granted an early release from prison today by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook.

Paul Never, 71, has served 18 months of a four-year prison sentence for his conviction in 2011 on three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. He had pleaded guilty to the three felonies, which stemmed from the Oct. 21, 2010 deaths of Toledo cousins Bryan Richardson, Jr., 20, and Bradley Richardson, Jr., 21, and their friend Noah McFadden, 23, of Sylvania.

The judge granted the early release for Never but imposed several conditions, including having him serve five years of community control.

Jeff Lingo, chief of the criminal division for the prosecutor’s office, opposed Never’s release.

The three victims were passengers in a car driven by Noel Papenfuse of Toledo, who was speeding when Never backed his pickup out of the parking lot of Club Chablis, 5405 N. Detroit Ave., and the two vehicles collided.

Papenfuse, now 23, was convicted in a 2011 jury trial of three misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide and sentenced to 1.5 years at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.

In January, Judge Cook terminated his jail sentence, placed Mr. Papenfuse on probation for five years, and ordered him to forgo drugs and alcohol, participate in three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week, and volunteer his story to help other teens.

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