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Men sentenced in memorial theft


Justin Lynn Rossman

Justin Lynn Rossman

David Edgar Sommerville

David Edgar Sommerville

Also sentenced in Skinner Field break-in

By Judy Reed

Three men were sentenced earlier this month in connection with stealing and concealing the monument last fall from Veteran’s Park that was erected in honor of fallen hero SPC. Timothy Brown.

The Brown family discovered the monument was missing Saturday, October 22, and called police. Thieves broke the statue, taking the helmet, rifle, and dog tags. Only the boots were left on the memorial stone. Police suspected the same culprits took the statue as broke into concessions at Skinner Field just a day prior. They posted surveillance footage of the break-in, featuring three young males, and asked media to share the photos. Within days, suspects in the thefts were arrested.

Police found the statue in a shed on the property of Tracy Lyn Coleman, 45, in the 100 block of E. Muskegon, along with several items in the home from the Skinner Field break-in.

Police arrested David Edgar Sommerville, 17, Austin Lee Coleman, 20, and Justin Lynn Rossman, 27, all of Cedar Springs, on Thursday, October 27. All three were charged in the Skinner Field break-in, and Sommerville and Rossman were charged with the monument theft. The older Coleman was arrested the next day on receiving and concealing stolen property. He reportedly admitted to police that he knew the rifle and helmet were stored in his shed, and that he had told one of the defendants to get it out of there. Rossman reportedly told police that Sommerville stole the rifle and helmet and hid them in the storage shed.

Both Rossman and Sommerville pled guilty to breaking and entering and receiving and concealing stolen property of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.

Sommerville was sentenced to 240 days in jail, 30 months probation, and ordered to pay $500 in fines, and $2,143 in restitution. He was credited for 190 days time served.

Rossman was sentenced to 240 days in jail, 30 months probation, 80 hours of community service, $500 in fines, and $2,143 in restitution. He was credited for 103 days served. His expected release date is in mid May.

Tracy Lyn Coleman

Tracy Lyn Coleman

Austin Lee Coleman

Austin Lee Coleman

Tracy Coleman was sentenced to 64 days in jail, a year of probation, and ordered to pay $500 in restitution. He was credited 64 days for the time he served.

Austin Coleman, 20, was sentenced last week for the breaking and entering at Skinner Field. He pled guilty to breaking and entering with intent, and was sentenced to 240 days in jail, 30 months probation, and has to perform 120 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay $2,143 in restitution, and was credited with 50 days served. He is expected to be released in mid July. He was sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee act, which would allow his record to be expunged if he serves his sentence without any major missteps.

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