Polich’s sentence: a year in jail
CRYSTAL FALLS—The mid-June evening likely felt like any other summer night to the group of young men who congregated in an Iron River parking lot known for being a popular gathering place. It’s hard to imagine that any of them could have envisioned that the innocuous act of entering a friend’s car that night 14 months ago would lead to such life-altering repercussions.
A short time after Seth Stoychoff, 19 years old at the time, sat down in the back seat on the driver’s side of Tyler Polich’s Nissan Ultima, his life and Polich’s were about to change forever. As admitted to in his earlier guilty plea to a second degree attempted fleeing charge, Polich made the destructive decision to ignore a police officer’s visible instructions to pull over and began a brief high-speed chase through an Iron River neighborhood.
During that chase, Stoychoff exited the vehicle and suffered a severe brain injury that has profoundly, and likely permanently, affected his and his family’s life. And Polich will now spend the rest of his 21st year in jail.
Gogebic County Judge Michael Pope, who presided over the case for Iron County Judge C. Joseph Schwedler, sentenced Polich to one year of jail time, less 124 days already served, 30 months of probation and a residential substance abuse treatment program stay of at least 60 days during an emotional sentencing on Aug. 1 in Iron County Trial Court.
Because of his earlier guilty plea on May 12, Polich was certain to face incarceration for his actions on June 20, 2016. One key question remained