Nathan D. Hurley

Nathan D. Hurley wants his fate to be determined by a jury.

Hurley, charged with crimes in connection with a woman’s June 30 overdose death, told Tuscola County Circuit Court Judge Amy Grace Gierhart Tuesday that he wished to nullify his plea agreement and take his case to trial.

Hurley was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, but he informed the judge that he did not wish to proceed. In addition, Hurley’s attorney, Bernard Jocuns, presented Gierhart with a motion to withdraw as Hurley’s council.

The judge granted the motion, and adjourned the hearing to so that Hurley could be granted a new attorney and properly file a motion to withdraw his previous plea.

In January, the 44-year-old Hurley, of Caro, pleaded no contest to a single count of delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine. As part of the plea deal, counts of delivery of a controlled substance causing death and possession of methamphetamine were dropped.

As part of the plea agreement, which was – like Tuesday’s hearing – broadcast online via video hearing , Jocuns, of Lapeer,  told Gierhart that he and Hurley had agreed to a Cobbs agreement which would cap the minimum sentence at 10 years in prison. A Cobbs agreement is an agreement between the defense, prosecution (in this case Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene) and judge outlining the likely sentence should a defendant accept a plea offer.

But Hurley, who has resided in the Tuscola County Jail since the June 30 incident, wrote the judge a letter saying he wished to withdraw the no-contest plea.

According to the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office, Hurley called 911 in the early morning hours of June 30 to report that his companion, 54-year-old Ramona Taylor, was unresponsive. When police arrived on scene – near the intersection of Columbia Street and Montague Avenue in Caro – they found Taylor deceased.

An autopsy confirmed Taylor died of a drug overdose.

Should Hurley’s eventual motion to withdraw his plea be granted, he will go to jury trial on the three crimes he’s been charged with. A guilty verdict of the delivery of controlled substance causing death count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Hurley at his January plea hearing acknowledged prior felonies he received in Tuscola County – a 2016 assault by strangulation conviction and three stealing/retaining a financial device convictions in 2013. The prior felony convictions enhance the maximum possible sentence of the delivery of meth count – normally a 20-year felony – to life in prison.

Hurley’s next hearing is pending.