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Man Convicted In Connection With The Death Of An Off-Duty Cottonwood Police Officer Is Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison

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The man connected to the death of Cottonwood Police Commander Jody Makuch was sentenced last week in Yavapai County. Forty-two-year-old Jason Engel of Camp Verde was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pled guilty to one count of manslaughter and five counts of endangerment. Makuch was riding his motorcycle, off-duty, through Cottonwood on Labor Day 2020, when a vehicle drifted left of center on Highway 89A and struck him head-on. The vehicle was driven by Engel, who was drunk at the time. Makuch was transported to Verde Valley Medical Center and passed away from his injuries. Engel had a blood alcohol content of .109, which is 25-percent higher than the legal limit.

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