CHARLEVOIX MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Joseph Martin Reedy, 40, of Charlevoix, was sentenced to 24 to 60 months in prison on a charge of domestic violence, third offense. In exchange for the Defendant’s plea, a charge of assault by strangulation was dismissed.

Reedy was sentenced by Judge Roy C. Hayes III at the high end of his sentencing guidelines which recommended a minimum sentence of 12 to 24 months incarceration.

The conviction arose out of an incident in the City of Charlevoix on August 23, 2017 where according to an affidavit filed in the case, Reedy grabbed the victim as she attempted to leave his apartment, dragged her into the bedroom and assaulted her by choking and headbutting her and threatened to kill her.

Reedy was convicted of domestic violence three times previously as well as six prior felonies.

“I want to commend the bravery of the victim in the case and the job done by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kerry Zahner and City of Charlevoix Police Officer Andy Flickema in this case,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said.

“At sentencing Kerry spoke passionately about the victim’s transformation from living in fear, being unsure of whether she could assist in prosecution to a position of strength where she was able to be in the courtroom and face her attacker. Kerry does a wonderful job of working with and empowering victims.”

“Officer Flickema did an excellent job with the investigation, not only interviewing the victim and documenting her injuries, but also probing other domestic violence incidents involving the defendant. This is critical information in a prosecution like this.”

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Fourth Time Drunk Driver Sentenced to Prison

In the 33rd Circuit Court in Charlevoix this morning, Edwin Allen Harris, 49, of Pullman, Michigan was sentenced to serve 20 to 60 months in prison. Harris had pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated, third offense, and attempted resisting and obstructing a police officer on October 13, 2017.

The charges arose out of an incident that occurred on Beaver Island on August 19, 2017 when, according to police reports, after a night of drinking, Harris took a car that did not belong to him. Police were notified and a sheriff’s deputy located the vehicle.

Harris drove away from the officer at speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour, before eventually putting the vehicle into a ditch, where he was apprehended. Harris’ preliminary blood alcohol level was .151, nearly twice the legal limit, and a subsequent blood test showed a result of .187.

Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof asked the court to issue the prison sentence arguing that Harris presents a continuing danger to the public, having three prior convictions for driving under the influence as well as a conviction for negligent homicide with a vehicle. Telgenhof noted that Harris had been sent to prison on five prior occasions yet continued to break the law.

 

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Two Convicted of Sexual Assaults on Children Sentenced

In the 33rd Circuit Court this morning, Anthony Atkinson, 38, of Charlevoix, was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old child. Atkinson had pleaded guilty on Nov. 10, 2017 to two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree.

The sentences on the two crimes were identical and will be served concurrently.

Because of the age of the victim, Atkinson faced a mandatory minimum 25-year prison sentence on both charges. Judge Roy C. Hayes III stated that though he had the discretion to run the sentences consecutively, he gave the defendant credit for pleading guilty and not putting the child through testifying at a jury trial.

Hayes did, however, departed upward from the sentencing guidelines in fashioning the 30 to 50 year sentence. He did so, as he stated, because the guidelines did not take into account the fact that the two crimes occurred on two consecutive days and the fact that the crimes will impact this child forever.

Also, Robert Arthur Torres, 38, of Charlevoix, was sentenced to 12 months in jail for having sexual contact with a 13-year-old child. Torres was convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Fourth Degree by a jury on Nov. 6, 2017. He was acquitted of a greater charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Third Degree.

Hayes departed from the sentencing guidelines which called for a minimum sentence of 0 to 9 months because of the defendant’s “preposterous” explanation for the crime, his failure to take responsibility and the fact that the child was entrusted in Torres’ care at the time.

 

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Boyne City Man (Again) Pleads Guilty on Day of Trial

For the second time in less than three months, Justin Raymond Stolt, 27, of Boyne City, pleaded guilty as charged to a felony, this time fleeing and eluding in the third degree, on the day trial was scheduled to begin.

The incident occurred on August 24, 2017 in the City of East Jordan. Stolt admitted that he saw a state trooper following him with his emergency lights activated and refused to pull over. The crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Stolt also pleaded guilty to a charge of delivery of heroin on another case. In exchange for that plea, a charge of delivery of cocaine was dismissed as was a drug enhancement. The delivery of heroin charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Stolt admitted providing heroin to a woman on May 25, 2017 in South Arm Township.

Sentencing on both files will occur on Feb. 23. The cases carry discretionary consecutive sentencing meaning the two sentences may be served back-to-back.

“I want to thank the prospective jurors who showed up and waited around. It may have seemed to them that they were wasting their time, but without their presence these convictions could not have been achieved,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said.

Judge Roy C. Hayes III apologized to the jurors and told them there were no last second deals and that neither the prosecution nor defense counsel was to blame for the last minute decision to plead.

In October, Stolt pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of suboxone after a jury had been selected in his case but before the first witness was called. On Dec. 1, he was sentenced to nine months in jail, four months held in abeyance, and 24 months of probation.

 

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Boyne City Man Charged With Numerous Sexual Assaults

Ryan Christopher Bentley, 17, of Boyne City, has been charged with five counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Third Degree, involving three different victims. The maximum penalty for each of the crimes is fifteen years in prison.

According to police affidavits, Bentley accomplished sexual penetration utilizing force or coercion with a 17-year old victim and engaged in sexual penetrations with a 15-year old victim and a 14-year old victim. The legal age of consent in Michigan is 16.

In all three cases, Bentley’s next court date is Jan. 9, 2018 for probable cause conferences with preliminary examinations to follow on Jan. 16.

Bentley has entered not guilty pleas on all files and he is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bentley is free on bond. His bond was initially set at $100,000 but was lowered to a $5,000, 10% bond by 90th District Judge James N. Erhart. Bentley is subject to a GPS tether and is under house arrest while he awaits trial.

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News Release 12/1/17

Today in the 33rd Circuit Court, Lon James Kowalske, 61, of Boyne City, was sentenced to 12 months in jail and 48 months of probation on charges of possessing child sexually abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime.

The sentences were identical and will run concurrently. Kowalske had pleaded guilty on September 29, 2017.

It was discovered that Kowalske had numerous videos and images of very young children being abused sexually when he purchased a new computer and asked that some files be transferred to it from his old computer.

The Michigan State Police then investigated and reviewed two computer drives, finding over 200 child sexually abusive videos and images.

In sentencing the defendant to probation and jail, rather than prison, Judge Roy C. Hayes III cited the fact that the defendant had no prior criminal history and his need for intensive treatment to address his interest in these activities.

Also, today Judge Hayes sentenced Warren Edwin Witham, Jr., 37, of Boyne Falls, to 12 months in jail and 36 months of probation for possession of child sexually abusive material.

Witham had solicited and received nude photographs of an underaged victim. The activity was discovered by the victim’s mother who had installed a device on her child’s computer to monitor their activity.

Both Kowalske and Witham will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of their convictions. Neither will be allowed to use a computer during the time of their probationary terms.

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CHARLEVOIX MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A CHILD

Anthony Atkinson, 38, Charlevoix, pleaded guilty to two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree this morning in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Atkinson admitted engaging in penile-vaginal penetration on two occasions with an 11-year-old in Hayes Township during the summer of 2017.

Because his victim was under the age of 13, Atkinson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. Sentencing will occur on Jan. 12, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

The case was investigated by Deputy Justin Kieliszewski and Sergeant William Church of the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office.

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