State Roundup

Flint

Reopening city lockup among Snyder's plans

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder plans to call for $4.5 million to reopen the Flint city lockup to free space in the Genesee County Jail.

The Flint Journal reports Tuesday the proposal is among those the Republican governor is expected to unveil Wednesday morning during his public safety plan at the Flint City Hall Annex.

Flint emergency manager Michael Brown has said opening the lockup is important because criminals are "laughing at the system."

Snyder says it's unacceptable that Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw rank among the nation's top 10 in violent crime rates for cities with at least 50,000 people.

His plan's expected to include $15 million for what he has called law enforcement "enhancements." He also says changes must include crime prevention and criminal justice reforms.

Indianapolis

Michigan man sentenced in child pornography ring

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A Michigan man has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on charges that he produced and distributed over the Internet child pornography involving an 8-year-old girl.

The U.S. Attorney's office says the girl was rescued by authorities.

Authorities say 37-year-old Christopher Reid of Saginaw, Mich., was a member of an international email group which traded child pornography primarily depicting babies and toddlers. Federal prosecutors say about a dozen children have been rescued from the ring.

Reid pleaded guilty Friday to charges of conspiracy to distribute and receive child pornography and production of child pornography and was sentenced by a federal judge.

David Bostic of Bloomington was sentenced to more than 300 years in November on charges he produced sexually explicit images of children was young as two months.

Grand Rapids

Pastor charged with embezzlement going to trial

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A West Michigan pastor whom authorities accuse of embezzling from his church has been ordered to stand trial.

A Grand Rapids District Court judge on Monday bound over the Rev. Arthur Pearson Sr. of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church for trial in Kent County Circuit Court.

Pearson is accused of spending between $50,000 and $100,000 of the church's money on personal items including car repairs and shopping.

Witnesses being questioned by a defense attorney on Monday said there was nothing in Pearson's contract that prohibited him from taking the "honorarium," and the church had few rules for him to follow.

Pearson was charged in December with embezzlement. A separate civil lawsuit claims he misappropriated up to $237,000 since 2008.

Traverse City

Valuable violin stolen from Mich. home recovered

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities say a 300-year-old violin valued at $20,000 that was stolen from a Traverse City home has been recovered by police.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports Monday two individuals approached police after seeing news reports about the stolen instrument. They told police someone left the violin and other stolen items with them.

Police say a suspect broke into the home Friday evening and also stole another violin, a video camera, jewelry and medals.

Investigators are trying to find the suspect.

Bay City

Bay City woman gets 25 years for molesting girl

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A 31-year-old Bay City woman has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison after being found guilty of molesting a 2-year-old girl she was babysitting.

The Bay City Times reports that Patricia Kreiner received the mandatory sentence of between 25 years and 40 years in prison during her sentencing Monday in Bay County Circuit Court. A jury in December found her guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 13.

Kreiner says she is innocent and was "never given a fair chance." Defense attorney Bruce Mannikko says the sentence isn't proportionate to the crime committed.

Authorities say Kreiner admitted in an interview to inappropriately touching the girl last May. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Nancy Borushko says Kreiner isn't taking responsibility for her actions.

Grand Rapids

Democratic ex-judge challenges GOP congressman

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A former Democratic state representative and Kent County circuit judge says he's challenging freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Justin Amash.

Steve Pestka announced his candidacy at events in Battle Creek and Grand Rapids on Monday.

Pestka also has served as an assistant prosecutor. He retired as a judge in 2009 and now runs a family real estate business.

His campaign says Pestka's values include "respect for hard work, fairness and opportunity for all."

He tells The Detroit News that Amash's conservative ideology is too rigid for the western Michigan district.

Amash spokesman Tyler Gaastra says Amash "upholds the Constitution" and "stands up for what's right for the American people."

Hamtramck

Man charged in kidnapping, rape of 3 women

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) -- A 21-year-old Detroit-area man is charged in the sexual assault of three women inside a carjacked van.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office said Tonio Dace was arraigned Monday in 31st District Court in Hamtramck.

Dace is charged with kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and armed robbery. He was ordered held on a $5 million bond.

A fourth woman was able to flee the van before the other three were forced at gunpoint to drive from Hamtramck to Detroit's east side where they were sexually assaulted.

Authorities say he later ordered one woman to withdraw money from an ATM. She told a clerk to call police and hid behind the counter. Police later located the van and arrested the suspect.

Published: Wed, Mar 7, 2012

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