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Spokane officer gets suspended sentence for reckless driving

October 13, 2021 GMT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane police officer who crashed his patrol car into a passenger car while driving twice the speed limit in front of MultiCare Deaconess Hospital, injuring two people, will not spend time in jail.

Officer Michael J. Brunner, 28, pleaded guilty to reckless driving last month in exchange for the reduction of the charge from felony vehicular assault. District Judge Aimee Maurer sentenced him Monday to a 364-day suspended jail term for the crime.

Brunner will be on unmonitored probation for one year, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Because he was not convicted of a felony, Brunner will return to his job as a police officer on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

He will receive more than a year of back pay totaling at least $56,000 – the entry level base pay for officers. He had been placed on layoff status since July 2020.

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A Washington State Patrol investigation determined Brunner was driving 65 mph in a 30 mph zone seconds before he T-boned a white Honda CR-V at the intersection of Lincoln Street and Fifth Avenue on March 25, 2020.

Brunner was not responding to an emergency; rather, he was driving back to the police department as his shift ended.