Judge Roy C. Hayes III sentenced a Central Lake man to serve 38 to 120 months in prison for what the judge termed a “brutal, unprovoked assault” on a Charlevoix woman last summer.
Landon Scott Barrett, 24, was convicted on assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder in the 33rd Circuit Court following a two-day jury trial on June 22.
In imposing sentence, the judge outlined the evidence against Barrett, saying he found the victim’s trial testimony compelling and credible. At trial she described the defendant intentionally leading her to a secluded, unfamiliar location near Mt. McSauba in Charlevoix Township late at night then striking her over 40 times during a vicious assault on June 17, 2020.
The victim who eventually fought her way loose from the defendant, according to the judge, was understandably fearful that she would be killed or raped.
The victim spoke very powerfully at the sentencing, saying that an act of kindness, of offering to give the defendant a ride home, had forever changed her life. She spoke of how the attack continues to affect and haunt her. She said that she was convinced the defendant was attempting to either kill her or to knock her out so that he could rape her.
The Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office initially charged Barrett with assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, and that charge was also bound over to the 33rd Circuit Court, but Hayes granted a defense motion to dismiss that charge, finding there was insufficient evidence to show the offense was for a sexual purpose.
The prosecution sought review of that decision, however, the Court of Appeals did not agree to hear the issue.
At sentencing, Hayes credited law enforcement (Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Charlevoix Police Department) for what he called an excellent job of investigating the matter and tracking down the defendant’s identity and locating him, leading to the prosecution.
For his part, in his written account the defendant provided what Hayes called a “bizarre, disturbing and nonsensical” description, saying that he had felt threatened by the victim and had only accidentally struck her with his elbow as he tried to get away from her.
“I am so grateful for the bravery of the survivor of this brutal and senseless attack,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “She was a fighter on that night, fighting for her life and her survival, and she was a fighter in the courtroom at trial, having the courage to testify against this person who terrorized her.”
“Again today, she spoke out powerfully about her experience. Because of her, I believe that other women may not face the same fate.”