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Tag Archive | "marijuana"

Prosecutor: deadly force justified in Greenville death


Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause said in a press release this week that Greenville resident Jess Braman was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed a naked stranger that broke into his home and would not leave on September 6, 2014.

The Greenville Department of Public Safety received a report at 6:55 a.m. of a naked man running through a Greenville neighborhood who was attempting to gain entry into a home at 303 West Grove Street. Officers began to look for the man. At 7:23 they got the info that the man was inside a home at 105 South Barry (Braman’s address). That was followed by the info that Braman had shot him.

Jess Braman had gotten up at 6:40 a.m. and let his dog out the back sliding door, and did not relock it. Soon after, his neighbor, Chris Harrington, told Braman that his (Harrington’s) wife had seen a naked man in their backyard. Braman then went upstairs to take a shower. When he came down he found the naked stranger on his couch, covered in a blanket.  Braman went up and got his 17-year-old stepson and asked him if it was a friend of his, and the teen told him no.  Braman then got a shotgun from an upstairs closet and loaded it.

Braman woke up the man, John Russell, 27, and told him several times to get out of his house.  Braman also yelled out his front door for his neighbor Harrington to call the police and come over to his house.  Harrington arrived and entered Braman’s home.  Harrington, along with Braman, told Russell to get out of the house.  Russell made another statement at that time that “There ain’t three cops out there that can go toe-to-toe with me and take me down.”

Russell reportedly stood up and went at Braman and Harrington. Braman raised the shotgun and Russell grabbled the barrel and started to pull, and Braman fired. He also said that when Russell stood up he immediately noted that Russell was bigger than him and felt he would be overpowered.  Braman also feared for his family and did not want to see anything happen to them. (Living in the home with Braman was his wife and four teens. All were home at the time.) He also stated that Russell had a look in his eye that put him in fear.

Police learned that Russell had been at the bar the night before, and had become very intoxicated. He later went to a friend’s house where he knocked over a TV, punched holes in the wall, threw tables around and broke a fish tank. He was described as out of control. He later left the home, and was seen by a homeowner between 3 and 4 a.m. stumbling around. A couple of friends were trying to talk him into going back with them. He reportedly fell and hit his head, and stumbled down a hill, possibly into a swamp. Police later found his clothes there.

The toxicology report showed his ethanol level at .26, and he tested positive for marijuana.

Krause said that even under the Self-Defense Act, self-defense is not justified simply on a belief that deadly force is needed to repel an attack. “Rather, the actor’s belief must be both honest and reasonable. The belief does not, however, have to be correct. Self-defense justifies the use of deadly force in response to an honest and reasonable belief that such force is required to prevent death or great bodily harm, even if that belief is in error.”

“The evidence in this matter is overwhelming that John Russell presented an immediate danger of death or great bodily harm to Jess Braman and Chris Harrington and Braman acted properly in self-defense,” said Krause. “Braman repeatedly told Russell to leave his home. Instead of leaving peacefully, Russell attempted to grab and/or push or pull the gun. Braman, fearing for his own life and that of his family and Harrington, especially in light of the perceived size difference between the men, fired one round into the chest of Russell killing him.  Under these circumstances, Braman was justified in using deadly force against what would be perceived by any reasonable person as an imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.”

 

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Corrections officers arrested on drug charges


Brian Tennant

Brian Tennant

Todd VanDoorne

Todd VanDoorne

Mike Frederick

Mike Frederick

Tim Bernhardt

Tim Bernhardt

A call last week from a local U.S. Post Office about a suspicious package ended in the arrest of one sergeant and three corrections officers—all 20-year-plus veterans of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

According to Undersheriff Jon Hess and Sheriff Larry Stelma, the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) was called on March 17, 2014, to inspect a suspicious package. The investigation led to a suspect responsible for the package, which contained marijuana. Investigators discovered the suspects were making and/or in possession of a large quantity of marijuana extract called “marijuana butter.”

The four suspects arrested are Kent County Sheriff Department Corrections Officers: Corrections Sergeant Tim Bernhardt, a 22-year veteran, charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Conspiracy to Deliver/Manufacture a Controlled Substance; Corrections Officer Mike Frederick, 24-year veteran charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance; Corrections Officer Todd VanDoorne, 22-year veteran charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Maintaining a Drug House; Corrections Officer Brian Tennant, a 20-year veteran charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The suspects were arraigned on March 21, 2014, at the 63rd District Court in front of Judge Servaas. Bond was set at $2,000.00, and the employees were placed on administrative leave.

According to Sheriff Stelma, the Sheriff Department did a comprehensive internal investigation as a result of the arrests. Four additional Correctional Officers were placed on paid administrative leave and were administered drug testing to exclude their involvement in criminal activity. Their test results were negative and those four Corrections Officers were cleared of criminal wrong-doing and have been returned to full duty.

They believe the original four officers arrested were acting alone and that no other offices were involved in the criminal activity.

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Something doesn’t smell right


 

When a Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputy investigated an assault complaint last week, on Huron Drive in Winfield Township, he caught a whiff of something in the air from next door.

According to police, the deputy was trying to locate a witness to an assault when he smelled the overwhelming odor of marijuana coming from a neighbor’s residence.  When the deputy went to the residence and questioned the neighbor, a 42-year-old man, the suspect told the deputy that he was a medical marijuana cardholder. Upon further questioning, the suspect admitted that he had an indoor grow operation and was a little over on his 12 plants. He said he had about 30 plants.

The Central Michigan Enforcement Team was contacted, and their investigation showed that the man had 140 plants—nearly 10 times the number allowed. He was also in possession of loose marijuana over 2.5 ounces, and a large amount of marijuana grow equipment.

The investigation was turned over to CMET, and an arrest had not yet been made.

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Amusing Legal Notice


Dear Editor,

I am amused to see the Legal Notice that Sand Lake Village Clerk, Judy Howard, put in the Cedar Springs Post. She explains the Moratorium on all aspects of Medical Marijuana in the Village.
When people complain regarding visible marijuana use in the downtown City Park Clerk Howard tells them that the marijuana use is hard to discipline and so the City officials and Village Police do not take notice.
In good weather the doors to the Fire Station are open and in front of it a group of Police and Fire & Rescue personnel have chairs and some stand around for most of each day, unless they receive the infrequent call. One only has to visit the ice cream store to see the group of people in the park gazebo and the police and fire & rescue facing them.
My amusement comes from knowing people who have complained, what Clerk Howard has told them, and the fact that the Village has such high hopes when their Police are incapable of doing anything about the really illegal marijuana. Theft of materials while the library was being built was clearly not dealt with either. Also evident in Clerk Howard’s Legal Notice is that she cannot spell the word marijuana.

Sand Lake Resident
Beth Williams

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Drugs and rock and roll land partier in jail


Nicholas Reyburn

Nicholas Reyburn

A routine loud music complaint led to the arrest of a Cedar Springs man on drug charges last weekend. According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Officers Mandy Stahl and Paul Feutz took the call about 10:53 p.m. on Friday, December 3, in the 300 block of E. Oak Street. When officers were allowed inside to talk to the apartment owner, Officer Feutz noticed that one of the people inside the apartment threw something behind a dresser. He investigated and found a baggie of marijuana. A search of the balcony resulted in an even larger amount of drugs being found. Nicholas Allen Reyburn 28, of Cedar Springs, was arrested and lodged in the Kent County jail. He was arraigned on December 6 and charged with possession of a controlled substance-delivery and manufacturing of marijuana, which is a felony. Bond was set at $5,000, 10 percent cash surety. His preliminary court date was scheduled for December 20, at 10 a.m. The owner of the apartment, a 23-year-old female, was charged under a city ordinance with possession of drug paraphernalia. Her court date is December 22. “This case was not related to the recent drug raids that were done with the State Police MET team,” noted Chief Parent. “In this case, the officers were handling a routine call and did a very thorough investigation that led to the arrests.” This is the second time in less than a month that Reyburn was arrested. On November 13 he was booked on charges of domestic violence and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. He bonded out on those charges.

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