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Leesburg man to spend nearly three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter

A Leesburg man who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in connection with a crash last year that killed his stepfather was sentenced Tuesday to two years and eight months in prison.

In addition to jail time, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Burke McCahill ordered Michael Allen Rollison, 44, to undergo 10 years of supervised probation and pay a $1,000 fine.

In handing down the sentence for the charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony DUI, McCahill said he took into account Rollison’s support from his family who have shown “resilience and a tribute to the human spirit” since the April 23 crash. However, he also said given Rollison’s record, jail time was warranted to ensure the defendant stayed sober.

At the time of the crash, Rollison had already been charged with driving under the influence two other times in 10 years. Authorities said his blood alcohol level was 0.12 at the time of the crash and he had also taken a Valium. The legal limit to be charged with DUI in Virginia is 0.08.

“When all is said and done, you took another person’s life,” McCahill said.

Ronnie Lewis Miller, 63, was a passenger in the Rollison’s 1990 Ford Bronco. Driving north on Harper’s Ferry Road near Butts Lane, deputies said he rear-ended a 2006 Kia Sorento around 2 p.m.
Miller later died at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W. Va. Miller was a Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

Rollison was not injured during the crash.

The driver of the Kia, David Norris, 69, and his wife, were struck by Rollison after turning out of a business parking lot onto Harper’s Ferry Road, according to police. The couple escaped the crash without injuries.

During the court hearing Tuesday, Rollison’s family said he’s struggled with alcoholism for years. He sought help numerous times for the disease, but has been unable to break the addiction.

“I’m truly sorry. I wish I could take it back and trade places. I’m also sorry for the people I ran into. I’m glad that they were not hurt,” Rollison told the judge before sentencing.

The Norrises did not appear in court or submit a statement to the judge.

Rollison told the court that he lost his father and best friend during the crash.

He was joined in court by several members of his family who have, according to attorneys, struggled to balance their love for Rollison and their grief for his stepfather.

They pleaded with McCahill to spare Rollison from a lengthy jail sentence, saying he will live every day of his life with his own punishment.

“I ask you to consider today that Michael’s punishment is paid in full,” his sister, Amy Miller said.

Loudoun County Assistant Public Defender Daniel Griffith also asked the judge for leniency, saying Rollison would be able to be better rehabilitated outside of jail with his family.

“It is important as a whole to move on in this case. When Michael Rollison is incarcerated, the family can’t move on,” Griffith said.

However, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Penn Baine asked the judge for a heftier sentence outside of the guidelines, which called for two years in prison.

Rollison, Baine said, has a history of alcoholism and drug abuse, taking his first drink at age 11.

“Ultimately, this is about the danger he could cause the community,” he said.

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