Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Assist Prosecutor Stephen Allen - Huron County


Charge against chief assistant prosecutor dropped
The Huron Daily Tribune

BAY CITY — During a Friday afternoon hearing in Bay County District Court, a Bay County assistant prosecutor asked the judge to dismiss the domestic violence charge against Huron County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Stephen J. Allen after the case failed to move forward.

Bad Axe Attorney David B. Herrington, representing Allen, said he requested a hearing before Bay County District Court Judge Craig Alston after Bay County Assistant Prosecutor Margaret Leaming filed yet another motion to adjourn the jury trial until sometime in May.

“There was a lack of due diligence on behalf of the (Bay County) prosecutor’s office,” Herrington said. “In order to request an adjournment they had to show good cause as to why they wanted to adjourn the case. They wanted to add another witness, and they hadn’t even served the victim in the case with notice — she was never informed of a trial date. And the judge said he didn’t see where this case was moving forward.”

The trial was scheduled to get under way for the first time on Jan. 13, when it was adjourned the day before. At that time Leaming notified the court a witness would not be available for the trial. The case then was set for trail a second time to be heard on Tuesday when Leaming filed another request for an adjournment.

Herrington said it was Leaming’s motion during Friday’s hearing in Bay City to dismiss the case and, “the judge granted it. This case has been pending for months now — more than seven months.”

Herrington said the dismissal is “good news.” He said all along “we don't believe that a crime was committed — domestic violence did not occur here.”

Allen was arrested at his Port Hope area home after returning home from work on July 20. Allen and his wife, Jami Allen, reportedly had an argument and were quarreling about their dogs when Allen allegedly pushed his wife. She called 9-1-1 requesting a police officer respond to the Port Hope area home. He was arrested by Huron County Sheriff's deputies.

Police reports from the investigation had been turned over to the Michigan Attorney General's Office who assigned Bay County Prosecutor Joe Sheeran’s office to the case.

The Tribune was unable to reach Leaming for comment.

Huron County prosecutor will face charges of domestic violenceThursday, August 25, 2005
By Tom Gilchrist
The Bay City Times

BAD AXE - Bay County Prosecutor Joseph K. Sheeran plans to charge Huron County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Stephen J. Allen with domestic violence for an alleged attack on Allen's wife on July 21.

Stephen Allen, 57, would face a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail if convicted of the crime. Sheeran claims Allen attacked 50-year-old Jamie R. Allen at the Allens' home near Port Hope, in Huron County.

Jamie Allen said her husband spit on her, stomped on her feet, grabbed the sides of her back "really hard" and kicked her Rottweiler dog in the dispute, according to a police report.

Stephen Allen denies harming his wife, spitting on her or kicking the dog, according to the same report.

The state Attorney General's office appointed Sheeran as a special prosecutor to decide whether Stephen Allen should face a criminal charge. Sheeran said his office filed a complaint against Allen in Huron County District Court on Friday, which starts the process of bringing Allen into court for arraignment on a criminal charge.

"We'll handle it and continue to handle it like it's a routine case," Sheeran said.

Workers at Huron County District Court, however, said no complaint had been filed with their court as of Wednesday afternoon.

Sheeran said Huron County District Judge Karl E. Kraus told him he would decline to serve as judge for Allen's case. Sheeran said he expects the State Court Administrative Office would appoint a visiting judge to handle the case.

Huron County Prosecutor Mark J. Gaertner suspended Allen as chief assistant prosecutor following Allen's arrest on the night of the incident. Stephen Allen had been served with divorce papers the week before the dispute with his 50-year-old wife, Gaertner said.

Jamie Allen - who works as a deputy for the Oakland County Sheriff's Department - told officers she and her husband had argued about who owned the household's two French bulldogs. Stephen Allen told police he was upset about a $2,800 dog-care bill.

Huron County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Gary Polega and Deputy Brandon Kadar took photographs of apparent injuries to Jamie Allen the night of the dispute at the Allen home in Huron Township.

Jamie Allen told police she just wanted her husband to leave for the night and she didn't want officers to arrest him. Gaertner said Jamie Allen doesn't wish to have criminal charges filed against her husband.

Police arrest Huron County assistant prosecutorSaturday, July 23, 2005
By Tom Gilchrist

BAD AXE - Police arrested Huron County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Stephen J. Allen for alleged domestic violence on Wednesday night.

Allen, 57, of Port Hope, hasn't been arraigned in court on the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail.

Allen was released from jail Thursday after posting a standard $250 bond, according to Huron County District Court officials.

As a condition of his bond, Allen must not have any contact with the alleged victim - his wife, Jami Allen.

Huron County Prosecutor Mark J. Gaertner said he has suspended Allen from his duties as chief assistant prosecutor. Gaertner said he'll ask the state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to determine if Stephen Allen should be charged with a crime.

If Allen is charged, he would be the second Huron County assistant prosecutor charged with a crime in 18 months. Allen is one of three assistant prosecutors in Huron County.

Last year, Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth V. Weisenbach pleaded no contest to attempted negligent homicide in connection with the Dec. 13, 2003, death of 87-year-old Vera Bares in Ottawa County.

A judge sentenced Weisenbach to 12 months probation and 250 hours of community service.

Huron County Sheriff Kent D. Tibbits reported that a call alleging domestic violence was received at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday from a residence in the Port Hope area.

While Tibbits didn't name an address, Huron County emergency dispatchers said that call came from an address in Huron County's Huron Township. The dispatchers provided the address to The Times, and Huron County Equalization Department records show Stephen and Jami Allen own the residence there.

Gaertner said Jami Allen doesn't wish to have criminal charges filed against her husband.

The Times could not reach Stephen or Jami Allen for comment on Friday.

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