Charlevoix Man Gets Prison Sentence

Christopher Milan Kroll, 40, Charlevoix, was sentenced yesterday to 16 to 24 months in prison by Judge Roy C. Hayes III in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Kroll had pleaded guilty on April 9 to two counts of resisting and obstructing police officers and operating while impaired.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, on December 16, 2017, Charlevoix City Police Officer James Schlappi observed a vehicle traveling on Petoskey Avenue driving erratically and clocked at 68 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Schlappi pulled the vehicle over and encountered the driver, later identified as Kroll, who smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech. Kroll refused to take field sobriety tests or a preliminary breath test.

Kroll was arrested and attempted to keep the patrol car door from being closed and removed one of the handcuffs from his wrist. Once at the Charlevoix County Jail, Kroll struggled with, bit and spit upon corrections officers and physically prevented his blood from being drawn at the hospital despite a search warrant.

While this case was pending, Kroll failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance and left the jurisdiction. He was arrested in Kent County on multiple felony charges and sentenced to prison there on December 4, 2018.

Kroll has pending charges in Charlevoix County for absconding while on bond, possession of marijuana, driving while license suspended and having an open intoxicant in a vehicle. Prosecutors are seeking to add charges for possession of heroin and cocaine.

The sentence given Kroll was the maximum sentence that could be given by the court on a resisting and obstructing charge. All three of Kroll’s sentences will run concurrently.

“This Defendant had seven prior misdemeanors and 19 prior felony convictions,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “He placed officers and hospital personnel at risk. I was glad that the court focused on safety of the public in fashioning a sentence that will protect the people of this county.”

“We filed the absconding charge because people cannot just leave while on bond, commit more crimes and not have any consequence.”

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Rex Allen Bartholomew III, 28, of East Jordan was sentenced this morning in the 33rd Circuit Court to 28 months to 15 years in prison for possessing methamphetamine.

Bartholomew was on parole at the time of this offense for drug convictions in Emmet County in 2012. The prison sentence in Charlevoix County will run consecutively to any time Bartholomew receives as part of his parole violation.

According to an affidavit filed by police in the case, on September 20, 2018, Bartholomew tested positive for methamphetamine in a routine test drug test given by his parole agent. Officers then went to Bartholomew’s home in the City of East Jordan and conducted a search where they found methamphetamine.

Bartholomew has six prior felony and five prior misdemeanor convictions, including breaking and entering with intent and unlawful driving away of an automobile.

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Justin William Hillard, 25, Boyne City, was sentenced to 38 to 120 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution for crimes committed in Boyne Valley Township on July 16, 2018.

Hillard pleaded guilty on November 30, 2018 to malicious destruction of property $20,000 or more and two counts of breaking and entering a building with intent to commit a larceny.

According to an affidavit filed by police in the case, Hillard broke into two homes and an outbuilding in Boyne Valley Township in July of 2018 and in one of the homes, he destroyed or damaged fixtures, appliances and furnishings totaling $97,813.88 in damages.

In another home, he broke in and stole tools and electronics and in the outbuilding, he stole a brand new lawn mower. He was ordered to pay restitution totaling $2,113.24 related to these offenses.

No one was at home at the time of Hillard’s actions.

Police discovered Hillard was the perpetrator by lifting and processing fingerprints which were identified as Hillard’s. He lived in the same neighborhood as the homes he ransacked.

Hillard was on felony bond out of Roscommon County at the time he committed these offenses.

“This was a very serious crime where these victims not only had their property damaged or stolen, they had their peace of mind taken away and as one of the victims wrote the court, they lost their sense of safety and tranquility they felt in their home,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said.

“This case was solved due to excellent police work by the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office with the spotting and collecting of evidence and interviews with the Defendant. This was an excellent team effort by Sergeant Fred Hasty, Detective Ben Speigl and Deputy Cody Wheat.”

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Burton David Cortez, 39, East Jordan, was sentenced to 38 to 90 months in prison on charges of malicious destruction of personal property $1,000 to $20,000 and assault with a dangerous weapon today in the 33rd Circuit Court.

The offense occurred on September 14, 2018 in Eveline Township. Cortez had just been released from prison on December 25, 2017 after spending over 17 years in prison on convictions of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and being a prisoner in possession of a weapon.

In this incident, according to an affidavit filed in the case, Cortez and a neighbor became involved in a disagreement over property lines and Cortez and other individuals approached the neighbor and another man with Cortez carrying a knife and a “Maglite” style flashlight. The other men carried large wrenches.

Cortez and the other men slashed the tires of one of the victim’s car to immobilize the vehicle, then assaulted the man with a knife, causing scars the victim showed Judge Roy C. Hayes III in the courtroom during the sentencing.

Hayes also ordered Cortez to pay $4,434.89 in restitution.

“This was a very scary situation for these residents,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “A simple disagreement over property lines in a remote part of the county resulted in a situation where a completely innocent person was, as he described in court, fighting for his life against a group of weaponized attackers.”

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Man Gets Prison for Strangulation

This morning in the 33rd Circuit Court, Ernest William Alex Sulkowski, Jr., 32, Boyne Falls, was sentenced to 20 to 60 months in prison on a charge of attempted assault by strangulation.

The incident occurred in the City of Boyne City of July 28, 2018. Sulkowski pleaded guilty on November 6, 2018.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Sulkowski grabbed the victim and began strangling her by using his arm from behind her, squeezing hard enough that she nearly lost consciousness. The victim was 13 weeks pregnant at the time of the assault.

Boyne City Police Department officers responded to the scene and observed the victim’s mouth lined with blood and one of her teeth broken off near the base. They also saw red marks and an abrasion on her neck which appeared slightly swollen.

Sulkowski is a former mixed martial arts fighter and trainer.

“This successful prosecution is the result of a very brave victim, good police work by Officer Kyle Smith who documented the numerous injuries the victim suffered and determined prosecution by (Charlevoix County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney) Kerry Zahner and the work of Victim Advocate Libby Mikulski,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “Strangulation is a very dangerous crime, especially when the victim is pregnant. Even a momentary loss of oxygen and blood supply can be permanently damaging.”

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Man Sent to Jail for Sexual Assault

On Sept. 28, Tuitamaga Peter Namulauulu, 32, Kewadin, was sentenced to serve eleven months in jail after pleading guilty to assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration.

The advisory sentencing guidelines called for a minimum sentencing range of 5 to 23 months.

Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof asked for a sentence at the high end of the guidelines which would have been 23 to 120 months in state prison.

Namulauulu was originally charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct, Third Degree (Incapacitated Victim), a 15-year felony.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the matter, in the early morning hours of April 29, 2018 in the City of Charlevoix, Namulauulu entered the bedroom of a woman who was asleep and sexually assaulted her.

The woman had met Namulauulu earlier that day. She had stayed home while the defendant and a group of friends went out to a bar.



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Defendant in Shooting Death Pleads No Contest

Anthony Gene Michanowicz, 29, Boyne City, pleaded no contest to careless discharge of a firearm causing death in the 33rd Circuit Court. The charge is a high court misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case, Michanowicz was showing a new .45 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol he had just purchased to Greg Van Stedum and another individual at a residence in the City of Charlevoix on April 14, 2018.

Michanowicz removed the magazine from the gun and handed the gun to the other man who looked at it then handed it to Greg who gave it back to Michanowicz. As Michanowicz was putting the magazine back into the pistol, it fired, killing Van Stedum.

The crime involved states that a person is guilty where, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not willfully or wantonly, a person causes or allows a firearm under his immediate control to be discharged so as to kill or injure another person.

Michanowicz pleaded no contest because of the potential for civil liability arising from the incident. A no contest plea has the same result as a guilty plea for all purposes related to the criminal case.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 12, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

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