Man Convicted of Stealing Money from Toys for Tots

A Charlevoix County jury found Vincent Michael Ryan, 38, Kalkaska, guilty of larceny in a building following a one-day jury trial today in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof played videos for the jury taken from security cameras at the Holiday Gas Station from November 28, 2021 showing a man taking a collection box for Toys for Tots from the front of the store near the cash registers, then taking it down an aisle out of camera view and eventually throwing the empty box away in the rear of the store.

Holiday employees had taken screenshots of the man, as well as the person who drove him to the store and the car they were in, and posted them on Facebook asking members of the public to identify them. Within minutes, witnesses said many people responded. One of them was Cole Nagy, a police officer from Kalkaska, who positively identified the person taking the box as Ryan.

Nagy testified at trial as to Ryan’s identity and also indicated that he recognized the driver and his vehicle from prior police contacts. He said that he had seen Ryan in person approximately ten times and also had seen photographs of him that many times as well. Nagy testified that he was aware that Ryan was also associated with the driver’s mother, tying the two together.

Ryan has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2006, including misdemeanor convictions for receiving and concealing stolen property and embezzlement, and felony convictions for uttering and publishing, possession of methamphetamine, absconding on bond and a prior larceny in a building.

“This was a case of a store having great video footage of the incident and wisely putting the information out on social media and getting help with identification,” Telgenhof said. “The Charlevoix City Police also put the information out to other departments. Using all of the camera angles, the jury was able to see exactly what had happened.”

Telgenhof continued, “Toys for Tots is a wonderful charity affiliated with the Marine Corps that provides toys for kids at Christmas. All thefts are sad cases but this one is especially so with someone basically willing to steal toys from kids at Christmas time.”

“The conviction was made possible by good work by the management staff at Holiday and the Charlevoix Police Department, especially officer in charge Morgan Stewart, in piecing this all together.”

Judge Roy C. Hayes will sentence Ryan on Friday, Aug. 12.

Larceny in a building is a felony that typically carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison. Because Ryan is a habitual offender, fourth offense, the maximum penalty in this case is fifteen years.

Ryan is already in prison on a previous conviction and was transported to Charlevoix for trial by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

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I was contacted by a few news agencies on Friday after the announcement of the Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court which overturned Roe v Wade. I wanted to have time to review the decision and let it sink in before responding.

The oath that I took as prosecuting attorney was to support the Constitution of the United States and the Michigan Constitutions. As I understand these constitutions, it is for the legislature to pass laws, for the judiciary to interpret laws, and it is for the prosecuting attorneys to enforce those laws that are adjudged to be constitutional.

It is not my place to substitute my judgment for that of the legislature, or of the judiciary.

I did not agree with counties that proclaimed that they would not enforce lawful COVID restrictions due to political disagreement. Similarly, at this time I will not issue a blanket statement that I will not enforce laws that have been passed by the legislature. I do not believe that it is my place to override the decisions of duly elected members of the legislature.

Every prosecutor has the right, and I believe, the duty, to take into account the specific circumstances of each case when deciding when to charge a crime or in deciding how to proceed in a case after a crime is charged. For example, we do not treat the teenager who assaults their parent because of an untreated mental health issue the same as we treat the spouse who batters their spouse, even though both crimes constitute domestic violence.

I believe, however, that this exercise of discretion is different than announcing that a certain law will not be enforced in a county.

It should be noted that in the case of Planned Parenthood of Michigan v Atty Gen of the State of Michigan, the Court of Claims has issued a preliminary injunction preventing prosecutors across the state from enforcing MCL 750.14, the state law that bans abortion.

Thus, we all await further instruction from the courts on how to proceed. It is certainly possible, if not likely, that the Michigan Supreme Court will weigh in and find that there is a right to privacy, which includes the right to an abortion, implicit in the Michigan Constitution.


Charlevoix Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Operation of Charter Business

John Joseph Kalbfell, 73, Charlevoix, pleaded guilty this morning in the 90th District Court in Charlevoix to operating a commercial boat charter without a commercial operational endorsement and without a valid Coast Guard certificate of inspection.

Both crimes are misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Judge Angela J. Lasher sentenced Kalbfell to pay fines and costs totaling $1,500 in the case.

Kalbfell was also originally charged with false pretenses $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, a felony charge, for allegedly obtaining a commercial boat slip through the use of false pretenses. This charge was dismissed upon Kalbfell’s payment of $17,820 to the City of Charlevoix for restitution.

This amount represents the difference between the fees for a commercial charter boat slip and a recreational seasonal boat slip at the City of Charlevoix marina.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by the United States Coast Guard, Kalbfell applied for, and received a commercial boat slip from the City of Charlevoix in 2017 despite the fact that he did not possess a captain’s license, a commercial charter endorsement and had registered his boat with the state as a pleasure boat and not commercial.

Kalbfell conducted no commercial charters in 2017, only 3 to 5 in 2018, 8 to 10 in 2019 and 20 to 25 in 2020, according to his logbook and the marina harbormaster.

“It appears that this individual held himself out as a charter business, while not having a captain’s license and not paying the fees nor holding the licenses that a charter company would have to pay, to obtain a lower rental rate for his 41’ boat,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “This resolution gets the City of Charlevoix the amount of money they lost as a result of these actions and holds the offender criminally responsible.”

“The case was thoroughly investigated by the United States Coast Guard and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The taxpayers of Charlevoix would not have gotten their money back without the hard work of these investigators. This resolution was approved by the city and I am glad we were able to recoup these funds without the necessity and risk of a trial.”

In an action separate from the criminal prosecution, Kalbfell agreed to surrender his commercial slip at the city marina.

Kalbfell’s wife, Janet, is a member of the City of Charlevoix City Council. Though she recused herself on all votes regarding the commercial slip, the law enforcement affidavit filed in the case indicates that it was not disclosed that she was both an owner of the boat and the limited liability company that operated the charter.

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Two Domestic Abusers Sent to Prison

Cody Michael Marr, 31, East Jordan and Aaron Curtis Jones, 42, East Jordan were each sentenced to prison today in the 33rd Circuit Court on charges related to domestic assaults.

Marr was sentenced to serve 18 to 60 months on a conviction of domestic violence, third offense, related to an incident that occurred in December 2021 in the city of East Jordan. He also was sentenced to serve 12 months concurrently on a charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

Jones received 28 to 60 months on a charge of attempted assault by strangulation that occurred on January 30, 2022 also in East Jordan. He also was given a concurrent sentence of 93 days on a charge of domestic violence.

Both cases were prosecuted by Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kerry Zahner.

Marr was previously convicted of two felonies and 14 misdemeanors.

Jones was on probation for operating while intoxicated at the time of his actions and violated a personal protection order which had prevented him from having contact with her.

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Sex Offender Sentenced to Prison

33rd Circuit Court Judge Roy C. Hayes III sentenced Jamie Michael Jacklyn, 31, East Jordan, to serve five to 15 years in prison after he was convicted earlier of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.

Jacklyn was convicted on April 21, 2022 following a two and a half-day jury trial. The jury was deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict on three counts of criminal sexual conduct, first degree.

At trial, witnesses heard testimony that Jacklyn, then 29 years old, engaged in sexual activity with a 12-year-old in 2020 on numerous occasions.

After the jury reached its verdict, and after Jacklyn was taken into custody, he escaped from a court officer and attempted to run from the courtroom. He was caught and detained by other police officers and court personnel.

At sentencing, Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mary Farrell spoke about the trauma that the child victim had suffered. She also indicated that the victim had been further traumatized in seeing the defendant break away from police and run toward the spectators, including her, in the courtroom.

Jacklyn’s defense attorney, Edward Engstrom, argued that the victim had not been affected by the sexual assaults or the defendant’s courtroom actions.

Hayes responded by pointing out that the 29-year-old Jacklyn had engaged in predatory behavior, treating the 12-year-old like she was his “girlfriend.” The judge also noted that in these types of cases, the effects often last a survivor’s entire life.

Farrell indicated that she had spoken with jurors who indicated that they were deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction on the more serious charges of criminal sexual conduct, first degree. Farrell’s comments were in response to Engstrom’s arguments regarding what the jury had and had not decided with their verdict.

Jacklyn may still face retrial on the criminal sexual conduct, first degree charges as well as potential similar charges in Antrim County.

In addition to the prison time, Hayes ordered that Jacklyn undergo sex offender treatment, lifetime registration as a sex offender and lifetime electronic monitoring.

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Eight-Time Drunk Driver Sent to Prison

Mark David Woloch, 46, Boyne City, was sentenced to serve 26 to 60 months in prison on a charge of operating while intoxicated, third offense today in the 33rd Circuit Court. Woloch had pleaded guilty on April 8

The drunk driving conviction was actually Woloch’s eighth but under Michigan law, third offenses or greater are treated as the same charge. Woloch was previously convicted of three felonies and 15 misdemeanors, in Michigan, Ohio and Florida.

On October 10, 2021, Woloch was driving erratically in the city of Boyne City when he was stopped by police. He refused a preliminary breath test at the side of the road as well as a test at the jail after his arrest. A search warrant was obtained for Woloch’s blood which was drawn and tested and revealed a blood-alcohol level of .243% two hours after the traffic stop.

Secretary of State records show that Woloch had been in three alcohol-related crashes previously, one of which resulted in an injury.

“This defendant is a ticking time bomb,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said at sentencing. “He not only apparently can’t stop drinking, he refuses to stop driving despite having no valid driver’s license.”

Telgenhof pointed out that it appeared that despite having his license suspended or revoked since 2007, he was caught driving in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2022.

“I want to commend officer Brandon Huff of the Boyne City Police Department who not only did an excellent job in detecting and detaining this drunk driver, but who also put up with a barrage of insults, taunts and defiance from this defendant,” Telgenhof stated. “Body camera footage clearly showed the abuse that he went through for nearly an hour and Officer Huff never once reacted in an unprofessional manner. Officers do not sign up for this type of treatment.”

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Man Sentenced to Prison for Builder Fraud

Steven Edward Broman, 46, Indian River, was sentenced to serve 28 months to 15 years in prison this afternoon in the 33rd Circuit Court.

According to police affidavits filed in two cases against Broman, in 2019 and 2020, he agreed to perform residential construction work for two Charlevoix County victims.

In one incident, in the City of Charlevoix, he was paid $13,700 but failed to do any work or to return the money to the victim.

In the other file, Broman agreed to perform work in Hudson Township and was paid over $100,000 but failed to properly complete the work. According to the affidavits, rather than remedying that home owner’s situation, the work performed actually worsened the situation and forced them to move in with relatives for an extended period.

“This is a situation where the defendant took advantage of people who were really in need,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “He was not a licensed builder or contractor but took these people’s money and left them as well as subcontractors high and dry.”

On February 18, 2021, Broman pleaded guilty to false pretenses $50,000 to $100,000 and fraudulent use of the building contract fund.

He was sentenced to prison on the first charge and 12 concurrent months in jail on the second. Broman was also ordered to pay $170,000 in restitution for the victims.

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Child Abuser Sentenced to Prison

John Paul Fiedorek, 34, Charlevoix, was sentenced to serve 18 to 36 years in prison this morning in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Fiedorek had been convicted of one count of child abuse, first degree and two counts of child abuse, second degree, on March 8, 2022 following a two-week jury trial.

The 18 to 36 year sentence was on the child abuse, first degree charge. Fiedorek was sentenced to serve 43 to 86 months in prison on both child abuse, second degree charges, with all of the sentences to be served concurrently.

Before pronouncing the sentence, Judge Roy C. Hayes III heard from the defendant and his attorney, Michael J. Corcoran. Fiedorek continued to maintain his innocence and his attorney indicated they intend to appeal the conviction.

The court also heard from both of the child victim’s parents as well as his maternal grandmother who acted as the child’s guardian early on after the assault upon the child.

Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mary Farrell, who prosecuted the case, asked the court to depart from the sentencing guidelines which called for a minimum sentence of 135 to 225 months in prison, stating that the guidelines did not take into account the extent of the injuries upon the child, the true actions of the defendant and the trauma imposed on the child and his family.

Hayes said that the defendant had brutally, physically assaulted a 15-month old child left in his care. The court noted that the child suffered broken bones, bite marks, unusual bruises and abrasions all over his body.

The judge also found by a preponderance of evidence that, in addition to these incidents, that the defendant had a prior history of abuse, including children, that had never been prosecuted.

Hayes said that he was focusing on punishment, deterrence and primarily the protection of society and there was little chance of rehabilitation. The judge said that it was incomprehensible how an adult human living in a civil society could cause these injuries.

At trial, the jury heard testimony from doctors who treated the child who was taken to the Charlevoix Area Hospital in September of 2019 with multiple injuries including numerous fractures to his arms and bite marks to his body.

The child was transferred to Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids where he was further treated for his injuries and where doctors discovered rib fractures as well.

The child’s mother testified that the child had been in Fiedorek’s care the day before he was taken to the hospital. Numerous witnesses testified to seeing the child in the days before he was in Fiedorek’s care and not seeing any of the injuries.

The jury heard from two prosecution dental experts who compared photographs of the injuries with dental impressions of Fiedorek and the other people who had been in contact with the victim in the days prior to his hospitalization. Both prosecution experts testified that while they could exclude all of the other impressions from causing the bite mark, they could not exclude the defendant.

One of the experts specifically stated that the defendant had a broken tooth which makes a unique bitemark and this mark was present in the photographs of the bite injury on the child.

The defense called its own dental expert and an expert forensic photographer who attacked the quality of the photograph of the bitemark.

Jurors also heard testimony related to two prior incidents where Fiedorek physically struck children who were not his biological children leaving welts.

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Disorder In The Court

It was an exciting day in the 33rd Circuit Court in Charlevoix as following a jury guilty verdict, a defendant who had just been convicted ran away from police officers in the courtroom and hurdled the bar in the back of the courtroom before being subdued by police.

Just moments earlier, a jury had found Jamie Michael Jacklyn, 31, East Jordan, guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. After the verdict, at the request of Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mary Farrell, Judge Roy C. Hayes III revoked Jacklyn’s bond and ordered that Jacklyn be taken into custody.

Jacklyn began walking toward the holding cell with officers before getting away and running toward the back of the courtroom.

The jury was deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict on three counts of criminal sexual conduct, first degree. They deliberated for a half-day each on Wednesday and Thursday. The trial began on Monday.

Witnesses heard testimony that Jacklyn engaged in sexual activity with a 12-year-old in 2020 on numerous occasions.

“It was a scary situation in the courtroom, especially for the young victim who had bravely testified against the defendant, then after hearing the verdict had to see him running away from police right in a courtroom where she is supposed to be safe,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said.

“Police quickly got the situation under control. We are very fortunate to have good security provided by the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office and they had an extra officer in the courtroom just for a situation like this. The matter will be investigated for additional charges though my office may be conflicted out of prosecution because two of my assistant prosecutors and I were in the courtroom and witnessed it.”

Criminal sexual conduct, second degree is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Jacklyn will be sentenced on June 3.

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Charlevoix Man Sentenced to Prison on Weapons Charges

Steve A. Martin, 69, Charlevoix, was sentenced to serve a minimum of 39 months in prison this afternoon in the 33rd Circuit Court. Martin pleaded guilty on March 4 to possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Emmet County Circuit Judge Jennifer Deegan, sitting in Charlevoix County by assignment, sentenced Martin to serve 15 months to five years on the felon in possession charges and two years on the felony/firearm charge.

The felon in possession of a firearm sentences will run concurrent to each other but consecutive to the felony/firearm charge, meaning Martin’s maximum sentence will be seven years in prison, however, he will be eligible for parole after serving 39 months. He received credit for 170 days already served.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, police were informed on October 15, 2021 that Martin had been at the Dunham’s Sporting Goods store in Petoskey talking about purchasing a scope for a rifle he owned. In 2016, Martin was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and sent to prison for attempting to run over a police officer with his vehicle.

Based upon the information, on October 18, police obtained a search warrant for Martin’s home and outbuildings where they located and seized 14 firearms, ammunition and parts for additional firearms.

Martin was initially charged as a habitual offender, fourth, because of the felonious assault conviction as well as two prior convictions for attempting to resisting and obstruct a police officer. In pronouncing the sentence, Deegan noted that Martin displayed a disregard for the law that is a threat to society and as such, the sentence focused on punishment and the protection of society.

The case was investigated by the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof.

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