Man Facing Battle Creek Drunk Driving Charges After Stealing City-Owned Car

Tad McCrumb, an inspector from the City of Battle Creek Engineering Department, pulled up to the intersection of Fountain Street and Capitol Avenue on Wednesday to check on work progress. New traffic signals were being replaced and he had stopped by to see how the work was coming. He parked behind a cement truck and got out, leaving the vehicle turned off but the keys in the ignition to make it easier for a contractor to move the truck if it happened to be in the way.

At about 1:45 someone told him his truck was being driven away, and not by a contractor. The police were called to report the stolen truck, but as it turns out, they weren’t the only ones with cause for concern. While officers were taking the stolen vehicle report, several other motorists had called 911 to report seeing the truck being driven erratically down the road. Someone finally decided to follow along in their car to make sure everything was OK until police arrived.

Police found and followed the truck, causing the driver to pull over on Territorial Road. The driver was a 40 year old man from Battle Creek who was intoxicated. He was arrested for drunk driving and outstanding warrants, and is currently being held in the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.

The driver has been charged with unlawfully driving away an automobile, also known as car theft, which is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He was also charged with operating while intoxicated, or “drunk driving”, which is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and possible fines and community service.  The prosecution will be in the Calhoun County Circuit Court.


74 Year Old Woman facing Antrim County Home Invasion Charges

An interesting Antrim County home invasion case is in the news.  Ann Shirley Wilson, a 74 year old resident of Elk Rapids, MI was recently arrested and charged with breaking and entering. The retired real estate agent is a suspect in a string of break-ins across several counties, including Leelanau, Grand Traverse and Antrim. According to police, Wilson would knock on the door of a home and if no one answered, she would enter. If discovered, she used a ‘lost dog ruse’ – claiming to be searching for the owners of a lost dog.

Several different home owners across three different counties have reported break-ins to the police, citing the disappearance of little items and knick-knacks from their homes. Several individuals reported encountering Wilson in their homes uninvited. One man claims he came out of the shower to find her wandering around in his house. A woman in another county says she came home to find Wilson in her home. In both instances Wilson cited looking for owners of a lost dog as her reason for being in the home without permission.

Elk Rapids police say there have been five reports of ‘lost dog’ breaking-and-entering incidents in Elk Rapids and several more in other areas. Items reported as missing include small change, jewelry and other assorted little items that are easy to carry and conceal.

During a search of Wilson’s home, several stolen items were recovered, but many more remain unaccounted for. When asked about the stolen items, Wilson stated that after entering a home she would see items that she had ‘fallen in love with’ and then ‘had to have.’ Initially deputies believed that Wilson’s actions may have been the result of a medical condition or mental illness, but it is now believed that her actions were deliberate.

Wilson was arraigned in 86th District Court and is facing one charge of first-degree home invasion which is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. She was held in the Antrim County Jail until posting bail for $150,000 and being released. A condition of her bail forbids her to enter a home that is not her own.


Driver in need of Kalamazoo Drunk Driving Attorney

A Michigan man is going to be looking for a good Kalamazoo Drunk Driving Attorney.  On Friday April 11th, in the very early hours of morning, five college roommates were suddenly woken up by a loud boom. They searched for the source of the noise, only to cover that a car had come crashing through the wall of their rental house. No one inside the house was hurt, just confused and surprised. The drunk driver, however, wasn’t quite that lucky. According to one of the residents of the house, his face was all cut up.

Within minutes, the house began to fill with smoke from the damaged car. Apparently the injured man got out of the wrecked car and came into their house, saying “Don’t call the police! Don’t call the police!”. They also say they heard him talking to a friend on his phone, apparently the owner of the vehicle, telling her that he had just totaled her car.

The residents called the police to report the events and, as a result, the driver fled the scene on foot. The suspect was tracked using a K-9 unit, to another home later the same day. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. Police have not yet released the man’s name, but students of Western Michigan University have identified him as Janero Johnson, a 20 year old resident of Kalamazoo, MI.

The car, described as a maroon Chevrolet Prizm, crashed through the wall of the basement, causing severe structural and electrical damage. Within hours of the incident the house was condemned and the five roommates were required to move out. They are currently staying with friends or family.

Ex U of M Basketball Captain Arrested, Facing Charges For Drugs, Firearms & Prostitution

Macomb County Arrests

Three men have been arrested in Macomb County, MI on a variety of charges after soliciting sex over the internet from detectives operating under cover. Apparently one of the men told detectives that he would pick up a few of his friends and bring cocaine, which he called “snow” in the exchange, to trade for sex.

The men in question were Johnny Johnson, aged 44, and Darrel Williams, aged 43 of Detroit, and Leslie Rockymore, aged 51, of Eastpointe. Rockymore is a former captain of the U of M basketball team. He played for the Wolverines from 1981 to 1985, captaining the Big Ten Championship team through 57 games.

Detectives were waiting for the trio when they arrived at the prearranged location, and they were immediately arrested. Officers found drugs in the car, including cocaine and crack, and a 40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. Arrests were made by the Macomb Area Computer Enforcement Team and the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team.

Rockymore and Johnson were arraigned on charges of controlled substances delivery which is a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison. They were also charged with a felony firearms offense, soliciting prostitution and using a computer to commit a crime. Williams was charged with soliciting prostitution and having an open alcohol container in the car.

Rockymore and Johnson’s bail was set at $15,000, and Williams was granted a $2,000 bond. The men were arraigned in 41B District Court in Clinton Township on Tuesday and are expected back in court on April 21st.

According to Michigan law, a felony firearm conviction requires a mandatory two-year minimum prison sentence for first offenses and a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence for second offenses. Soliciting the services of a prostitute is a misdemeanor under Michigan law. In addition, people convicted of certain prostitution related crimes may have to register as a sex offender.


Michigan Couple Charged with Credit Card Fraud in Monroe

Unlawful Use of a Financial Transaction Device

Guests staying at the Holiday Inn Splash Universe in Dundee, MI may have got a little more than they bargained for in recent months. On their credit card bills, that is. Between November of 2013 and March 2014, a front desk clerk named Alivia Ann Adams was copying down credit card information and then passing it on to her boyfriend, Jason Lee Beverly, a former employee of the hotel. Using the stolen credit card information, the couple rang up charges in multiple counties in both Michigan and Ohio.

Police have said that Adams would call up businesses, offering to pay for goods or services as a gift for a friend or family member, but claiming she was unable to come in and pay in person. Businesses would take the compromised credit card information over the phone, and then Adams and Beverly would arrive later to redeem their purchases, pretending to be the recipients of the “gift”.

The compromised cards were frequently used to buy items online at Sears and Walmart. They were also used to buy food at restaurants, make car payments, and get vehicles serviced.

Adams and Beverly were arrested and held at the Monroe County Jail. Adams paid a $5,000 bond and was released. Beverly is still being held in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Both suspects have been charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. Michigan law states that any person who knowingly acquires credit cards without the consent of the cardholder is guilty of a felony. Credit card fraud carries a maximum sentence of up to 4 years in prison.

Detroit Man Beaten by Mob; Multiple Arrests for Assault

Driving through Detroit’s East side, Steve Utash was on his way home from his job as a tree trimmer, when a 10 year old child ran out in front of his car. Utash wasn’t able to stop in time and hit the child by accident. Concerned, he stopped his car and got out to help. And that was when a mob of angry people attacked and beat him to within an inch of his life. According to witnesses, Utash was crying out apologies and begging for mercy. He suffered multiple head injuries and swelling on the brain, and is currently in a medically induced coma in critical condition at St. John Hospital and Medical Center.

The incident was captured on the security cameras of a nearby gas station. Police have stated that Utash is not at fault for the accident and that he did the right thing by stopping to offer aid. But the beating, which authorities have called “vigilante style”, has resulted in multiple arrests and police are hoping for more.

Bruce Wimbush Jr, a 17 year old who was involved in the beating, has been arrested and charged with assault with intent to commit murder and do great bodily harm, a felony charge which can result in imprisonment for life. His arraignment is scheduled for this morning.

Courtney Robinson, a 16 year old boy has also been arrested. He was held in a juvenile detention facility until authorities could determine whether or not to charge him as an adult. He was charged in juvenile court with assault with intent to murder and may yet face charges as an adult.

On Sunday evening a 30 year old man was arrested, and on Monday morning a 24 year old man. Their names have not yet been released to the public. Police say there were about 11 people involved in the beating and they are calling on witnesses to step forward and assist them in their investigation.

Wisconsin Infant Found Safe in Michigan, Father Facing Extradition And Felony Parental Kidnapping Charge

Parental kidnapping is illegal under both Michigan and federal law.  Lilliana Caballero and Luis Gutierrez went out for an evening on the town together and left their 3 month old son in the care of Luis’s brother, Roberto. During the course of the evening they got into a fight that resulted in felony charges and extradition – not a happy outcome for anyone involved.

As a result of their argument, Caballero and Gutierrez parted ways, with Gutierrez returning to their home in Honey Creek, Wisconsin alone. According to Roberto, Gutierrez took his infant son, the baby’s supplies and over $3,000 in cash. He told his brother he intended to go to New York to seek out cousins who lived there. He left driving his brother’s Ford pick-up truck.

Gutierrez was tracked across several states, during which time he switched out his pick-up truck for a Ford Ranger in Mauston. His vehicle was photographed at an Illinois toll booth and noted again in Portage, Indiana before being stopped in Michigan. He was arrested by Michigan State Troopers in the village of Mattawan, near Kalamazoo, MI.

Gutierrez is facing felony charges of interfering with child custody. This is because, even although he is the child’s father, he does not have legal custody. He is being held at the Van Buren County Jail in Paw Paw, MI awaiting extradition back to Wisconsin.

An Amber Alert was not issued for the infant because one of the criteria for issuing the alert is concern that a child is likely to be in danger. Caballero told authorities when she reported the child missing, that she did not feel that he was in any danger of being harmed by his father. The child was found to be safe and unharmed, and will be returned to his mother in Wisconsin.

Woman Wanted For Genessee County Murder Arrested In Texas And Extradited to Michigan

Michelle McIntosh was recently arrested in Texas and then extradited back to Michigan to face Genessee County murder charges for the fatal shooting of Havana Wright. McIntosh was arraigned in the 68th District Court in Flint on the 1st of April, nearly a month after her arrest in Dallas. She has been charged with first degree murder.

It all began in late April of 2013, when a fight broke out between two women at the Palm Tree Club in Flint, MI. The fight spilled out into the parking lot and ended with deadly gunfire. When responding officers arrived, they found a the body of Havana Wright, shot in the chest. A security guard had also been shot, but wasn’t fatally wounded. He has since recovered.

Police began searching for Michelle McIntosh. At first they claimed she was a person of interest in the murder, but soon after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Almost a full year later, in mid March, McIntosh was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Dallas, Texas. She was pulled over in her car and was immediately surrounded by Dallas police officers and the U.S. Marshals North Texas Fugitive task force. Apparently McIntosh then put her car into reverse and backed into a police car, harming an officer. She then drove forward to clear an escape path. The chase did not last long, however, because McIntosh pulled over once more and surrendered herself. She was taken into custody and held at the Dallas County Jail until being extradited back to Michigan.

Bath Salts Dealer Now Facing Counterfeit Goods Charges In Huron County, MI

Robert David Alent, a 49 year old man from Bad Axe, was sentenced in May of 2013 to two to seven years in prison for eight felony charges. He was convicted of delivering ‘bath salts’ – a lab-created drug containing synthetic chemicals that are similar to amphetamines, and of maintaining a drug house in both his home and his business.

A few days ago, Alent appeared in the Huron County Circuit Courtroom via teleconference. He now faces additional charges of tobacco products tax violation and delivery/possession of counterfeit goods. He is serving his current sentence at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer.  The new charges are felony charges, each of which carries a 5 year potential prison sentence.

The added charges result from a separate investigation into Alent’s business, a store called Maple Lane Discount in Verona Township.  Apparently the store was in possession of several hundred dollars worth of tobacco products Alent could not account for through invoices. Tobacco products tax violation is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

In addition, Alent was found to be in possession of 170 pairs of counterfeit Oakley brand sunglasses. A representative from Oakley estimated that the sunglasses, had they been legally for sale, would have cost a very minimum of $100 each, making the total value in excess of $17,000. Delivery or possession of counterfeit goods is also a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

A good overview on counterfeit good can be found at here.

Alent is also being charged as a habitual offender, this being his fourth offense. This increases the maximum prison sentence to life. He pled not guilty to the additional charges.

Michigan Supreme Court Finds Fee Increase Does Not Violate State or Federal Constitutions

Defendant Must Pay Crime Victim Rights Assessment

In People v. Earl, the defendant appealed an order to pay a $130 crime victim rights fee. This case originated in the Oakland Circuit Court. The Michigan Supreme Court released their opinion on this fee increase March 26, 2014.

In the appeal, the defendant challenged the requirement to pay the assessed $130. The Crime Victims Rights Act gives victims of certain offenses the right to be notified and to participate in criminal proceedings. In turn, this is funded by fees paid by those convicted of crimes.

At the time the defendant committed the offenses, the law set the fee at only $60. However, in 2010 the law increased the fee to $130.  At sentencing, the defendant was ordered to pay the higher amount.

The Constitutions bar ex post facto laws—which  stops the application of a law to an event that happened before the law went into effect: (1) if it punishes an act that was not illegal when committed; (2) if it increases a punishment for a crime; or (3) if it allows a defendant to be convicted on less evidence.

Determining whether a law is in violation is a two-step process. The first question is whether the Legislature intended the law as a criminal or civil remedy. If it is a criminal punishment, it is in violation. If it is a civil remedy, the Court must look at whether it is so punishing in effect or purpose that it becomes a criminal punishment instead of the intended civil remedy.

The Court found the fee to be a civil remedy. The law uses the word “assess” to indicate that the intent is not to punish people. In addition, this involves a low enough flat fee where every affected person pays the same amount of money regardless of the severity of the criminal charges. Also, the fee is used to fund crime victim’s services which promote welfare and public safety.

However, if the fee had been excessively high so that it seemed like a punishment, the Court may have come to a different conclusion.

In sum, the Court found the increased fee did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the state and federal Constitutions. Therefore, the Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

The trial lawyers at Kronzek and Cronkright, PLLC, represent criminal defendants statewide.