Man Allegedly High on Cannabis Runs Down Elderly Couple in Branch County

June 12th, 2024 Legal & Crime
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A man from Coldwater Lake is being held on a $1 million bond for allegedly using his pick-up truck to run down an elderly couple in Branch County's Kinderhook Township on Monday night while reportedly high on cannabis.

McCain Matthew Snyder, 22, faces two counts of assault with intent to murder after allegedly running over the grandparents of a girl he was reportedly stalking. Each charge carries a potential life sentence. Branch County Prosecuting Attorney Zach Stempien also charged Snyder with failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily impairment, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to police, Snyder drove his Ford Ranger truck onto the grass as he was leaving Simco Drive, striking 81-year-old David Sluyter and his 77-year-old wife, Jill, near their home. The couple was reportedly on their way to Snyder's mother's house to confront her about accusations Snyder had made against them.

Earlier that evening, Snyder had visited the Sluyters' home in the Shawnee Shoals subdivision, accusing them of sexually abusing the girl he was allegedly stalking. Before leaving, he reportedly warned the couple, "I'll be back."

Jill Sluyter suffered internal and head injuries, including a fractured pelvis and back. David Sluyter sustained serious leg fractures, and there is a possibility he may require amputation of his left leg below the knee. He was flown by medical helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Michigan State Police reported that after the crash, Snyder drove to a friend's home on Central Road, where troopers located him and took him into custody. Snyder's father informed troopers that his son had recently begun smoking large amounts of cannabis, writing on the walls, and obsessing over Biblical passages.

Snyder's father also stated that his son "swore up and down" that the Sluyters were child molesters. However, the girl denied any assaults had taken place and said she did not have a relationship with Snyder.

Approximately two hours before the hit-and-run, around 5:30 p.m., troopers encountered Snyder parked at the State Police Post on State Street in Coldwater. At that time, he claimed he was trying to ensure he wasn't being hunted down. Troopers noted that Snyder did not appear to be a threat at that moment.

A probable cause conference for Snyder is scheduled for June 25, with a preliminary exam set for July 2nd, 2024.

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