Woman charged for deaths of three sons withdrawls plea after judge rejects sentence

The story of Leticia Gonzales, a 31-year-old woman from western Michigan, and the accidental deaths of her three sons has shocked the community.

On Thursday, Gonzales was in court for sentencing following a plea deal with prosecutors, but Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing rejected the deal and declared he’d sentence her to four to 15 years in prison. In response, Gonzales withdrew her plea and the case will now go to trial.

The three boys – Jerome III, 4, Jeremiah, 3, and Josiah, 1 – died in February 2022 after Gonzales’ SUV crashed into an icy pond. Ottawa County police reported that the SUV veered off to the left side of a road, jumped the curb, and rolled into the water. The boys were strapped into their child-restraint seats and drowned in the accident, while Gonzales escaped with only minor injuries.

Police investigators determined that Gonzales had taken two doses of methadone, a drug used to treat opioid addictions, the morning of the crash. This may have impaired her ability to safely operate the vehicle. Her trial will decide whether these findings of intoxication were true and if she’ll face charges of operating while intoxicated causing death.

Leticia Gonzales’ case casts a sobering light onto the tragic danger of driving under the influence of drugs. As her trial begins, the situation is certain to continue to capture the attention of the community.