courts

Court of Appeals rejects man’s appeal on attempted murder conviction

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The Michigan Court of Appeals denied a man’s appeal regarding his attempted murder conviction, the argument of which hinged on defective instructions to the jury in an Ionia County court.

Steven Bradley MacKenzie, now 61, was 54 years old when he was convicted by a jury in October 2014 of the attempted murder of his wife, as well as aggravated domestic violence. The charges stemmed from the Lansing man attacking his wife at their Clarksville cottage in Ionia County while the couple was amid divorce proceedings.

Lake Odessa man sent to prison for repeated sex crimes

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A Lake Odessa man was sentenced to from 25 to 50 years in prison after being convicted by an Ionia County jury of seven sex crimes.

Michael Phillip Oaks, 37, was convicted on May 19 of four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC), two counts of second-degree CSC and one count of capturing an image unclothed. Eight additional related charges were dismissed.

Prison inmate pleads guilty to manslaughter of fellow inmate

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A man imprisoned for life for a brutal murder and sexual assault in 2013 pleaded guilty on June 9 to manslaughter in the death of a fellow prison inmate over a dispute regarding a TV set.

Duncan Eric Willis II, 35, killed Kenneth Arlell Gibson, 63, in April 2021. Both men were prison inmates in the Carson City Correctional Facility.

Sheridan man charged with years of sexual assault involving two young girls

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A Sheridan man has been bound over for trial in two sexual assault cases involving two young girls over a period of years.

Matthew Todd Lincoln, 43, appeared in Montcalm County District Court on June 8 for a preliminary examination on seven charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC). After Judge Adam Eggleston heard testimony from one of the girls, he bound the case over for trial in Montcalm County Circuit Court, where a second sexual contact case is also pending involving Lincoln and the same two girls.

Maple Valley Township supervisor files motion to waive jury trial on Open Meetings Act charge

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John Schwandt wants judge to reach a verdict at trial instead

The Maple Valley Township supervisor charged with an Open Meetings Act violation is requesting that a judge decide his fate at trial instead of a jury.

John Schwandt of Trufant was in Montcalm County District Court on Monday for a motion hearing with his attorney, George “Pete” Frye, who filed a written waiver of jury on behalf of Schwandt.

Court of Appeals affirms convictions of Orleans man who threatened state workers

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The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of an Orleans man who threatened three Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) employees with an ax handle and then drove his van at them.

Raymond John-Orlo Vanbuskirk, 54, was convicted by an Ionia County jury in October 2020 of felonious assault, two counts of assaulting/resisting a police officer and three counts of threats or assault against an employee of a family independence agency.

4 men sentenced on greatly reduced charges for illegal marijuana grows

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Four of six co-defendants who were arrested as part of a multi-jurisdictional police investigation involving alleged illegal marijuana grows have been sentenced on greatly reduced charges.

Detectives from the Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) executed search warrants and arrested the six men in mid-March at what police called “residential commercial marijuana grow locations” after a 10-month investigation. More than 3,000 marijuana plants, 150 pounds of finished marijuana, vehicles and grow equipment were seized. The crimes are alleged to have occurred at six locations, including at properties on Lake Montcalm Road near Six Lakes, South Stevenson Road near Sheridan and North Crystal Road near Vestaburg.

Sheridan man sentenced to time served for 2019 fatal car accident

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A Sheridan man was sentenced to jail time served for his role in a fatal car accident which occurred nearly three years ago.

Martin DeWayne Swan, now age 49, of Barryton and Sheridan was originally charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death, reckless driving causing death and being a habitual offender second offense.

Edmore man re-sentenced for 2001 murder

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An Edmore man who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole 16 years ago could now theoretically be released from prison in another 16 years.

Anthony Chapman, who is now 38 years old, was sentenced in August 2005 by now-retired Montcalm County Circuit Court Judge Charles Miel to life in prison without parole for the 2001 murder of Kathryn Dyer, 71, of Edmore.

Maple Valley Township supervisor taking OMA allegation to trial

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John Schwandt facing one challenger in November recall election

The Maple Valley Township supervisor charged with an Open Meetings Act violation is taking the matter to trial.

John Schwandt of Trufant was in Montcalm County District Court on Tuesday morning for a pre-trial conference with his attorney, George “Pete” Frye. The matter is now going to trial, although a date has not yet been scheduled, according to the court office.