EVANSVILLE, INDIANA — A sea of people clad in orange flooded the Vanderburgh County courts building Thursday afternoon, watching as Michael Gann, the accused drunk driver who caused a deadly crash in March 2015, plead guilty. That crash killed Reitz High School teenager Logan Brown and left classmates Kurt Osborne and Hannah Miller seriously injured.
“Today was just a step in the right direction,” Charles Brown, Logan’s father, said. “I don’t feel that justice or closure will happen until his actual sentencing date. That’s when justice comes.”
Gann, 39, walked into the courtroom, avoiding eye contact with the gallery, packed with Logan’s family and friends, many wearing orange in honor of Logan’s Promise, an organization started after his death to put a stop to drunk driving.
“Ultimately we’re all in this together and it’s just one big family, one big community, and to see everybody still be able to show up, one thing we’ve stuck to is our motto – ‘We’ve got this,’ and we’ll be here,” Brown said.
With his trial less than a week away and no plea deal on the table, Gann pled guilty to one count of causing death while driving drunk and two counts of causing serious bodily injury while driving drunk, all felonies. He also pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after he was caught on security footage hitting a parked car at a gas station before the deadly crash.
The prosecution said Gann had been drinking at a party at Burdette Park the night of March 14, 2015, and was seen vomiting before getting into his car and driving away. The prosecution said Gann first hit an unoccupied truck before crashing into a car, driven by Osborne, with Brown and Miller passengers inside.
“Regardless of what we do, we have to be accountable for our own actions,” Brown said. “Nobody forces us to do any particular thing and that’s where it’s at.”
For Brown and his family, Gann’s guilty plea isn’t the end of a saga that has lasted more than a year. While it doesn’t bring closure, Brown said it is a step closer to justice for his son.
“At the end of the day, it’s about accepting responsibility and knowing what’s going on and moving forward,” he said. “And that’s part of the healing process. It’s part of the process of getting past everything.”
Gann’s sentence will be determined by Vanderburgh County Circuit Judge David Kiely. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 28 at 8 a.m.
He could face up to 12 years in prison.