By Rosemary Horvath
Oanh Kieu Bass, 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and felony firearm in Clare County Circuit Court Wednesday for the 2013 death of Floyd Dennis, longtime Harrison school bus driver, member of the Board of Education and Dodge City business owner.
County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said a date for sentencing will be set in September worked out between the victim’s family and the defense.
Bass faces a maximum up to life or any term of years set by Judge Thomas Evans.
Judge Evans presided at the plea hearing Wednesday, attended by the Dennis family.
“It was a rough day for them. Very emotional,” Ambrozaitis said.
The felony firearm charge adds two years consecutive. Bass will receive credit for 18 months she has been held in the Clare County Jail. Bond had been set at $2 million.
The Remus area woman was scheduled for trial July 29 and faced an open charge of murder.
Ambrozaitis said Tuesday was the final pretrial conference. Although Bass had admitted to shooting Dennis to police in the beginning, there were legal issues that had to be resolved and settled. “That finally occurred,” Ambrozaitis said.
The prosecutor credited the investigation by the sheriff department and Michigan State Police working together. Prosecution was aided by the Michigan Attorney General Office.
The 68 year-old Dennis was found murdered the afternoon of Jan. 18, 2013 at a cabin in Redding Township. Bass was arrested Jan. 19, 2013 at her Remus residence.
From previous courtroom testimony, Bass had used her husband’s pistol and indicated to police she grew weary of Dennis’s sexual demands. They had met at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant. An affair materialized. In the end, Bass told police she had wanted the affair to end.
According to reports, Bass had told a sheriff’s detective that Dennis regularly gave her money to gamble with and would routinely remind her that she owed him a lot of money in order to obtain sexual favors from her. Bass said it was her intention to meet Dennis at the cabin on the day of the murder to discuss ending their relationship.
Dennis also was married at the time of his death.
Last year, defense attorney for Bass, Todd Flood, had motion asked the confession to be thrown out which District Court Judge Joshua Farrell ruled against last November. Her statements were admissible because she was read a Miranda warning.
Circuit Court had scheduled a jury trial to begin July 29 and was estimated to take at least three weeks. Bass would have faced an open charge of murder.