Friday, September 29, 2006

Deputy Dale Van Wert - Bay SD






Van Wert has been charged with four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of making false certification under the vehicle code (obtaining restricted information) and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network.



ALSO SEE:
Deputy Dale Van Wert charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. 










Former Bay County sheriff deputy back in court
Dale Van Wert charged with 11 felonies
By Jennifer Borrasso
BAY COUNTY (WJRT)
 - (01/29/07)-
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=local&id=4982705

A former Bay County sheriff's deputy was back in court Monday, charged with 11 felonies. And his legal problems don't stop there. Just last week he was charged with raping a teenage girl at his home.

Dale Van Wert was fired last year from the Bay County Sheriff's Department after being charged with 11 felonies.

Prosecutors say that while on duty, Van Wert collected fees and served papers for his private business, Court Integrity Services. They also say he signed false information on those papers.

Last year, ABC12 profiled Van Wert and his wife in their adoption of children who came from an abused home.

Monday it was a much different story. The former Bay County sheriff's deputy now has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at his home.

He was back in court for another case where he faces 11 felonies and is charged with conducting private business while on duty and then pocketing money that should have gone to the county.

The prosecutor pointed out that Van Wert tried to get information such as addresses about people he was trying to serve by calling Bay County 911.

"I don't see the connection that the information relayed to 911 was necessarily improper," said defense attorney Matt Reyes.

"You heard the 911 operator testify that no explanation is needed when requesting information."

Jeri Middleton testified that she took papers from Van Wert and personally delivered them to two jail inmates. "When you serve paper in the jail that you had signed on the line as the person who served, do you know why your signature is not contained on that?" she said.

"I asked Dale, 'Do you want me to sign this?' He said, 'Oh, yes.' I knew it was wrong. I didn't know. I just did what he said."

"I think at best what they've shown is maybe he signed the paperwork on the wrong line or maybe he should have had Ms. Middleton sign on the line above. I don't think that's forgery," Reyes said.

Van Wert is in the Saginaw County Jail stemming from the rape case.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Former sheriff's deputy faces felony charges

The Bay City Times
By TIM YOUNKMAN
Saturday, September 30, 2006
http://www.mlive.com/news/bctimes/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1159611305232300.xml&coll=4

A former Bay County Sheriff's deputy on Friday was arraigned in Bay County District Court on 15 misdemeanor and felony counts stemming from collecting fees for serving court papers on county time.

Dale P. Van Wert, 48, of Garfield Township, has been dismissed from the Bay County Sheriff's Office, said Sheriff John E. Miller. If convicted, Van Wert faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Miller said he conducted a hearing on accusations of misconduct within the department but Van Wert would not answer questions or explain his activities. As a result, he was fired.

Van Wert and his Bay City attorney Matt Reyes declined comment after the arraignment in which Van Wert demanded a preliminary examination on the charges against him. No date for that hearing was set but a conference of attorneys and District Judge Craig Alston will be held Nov. 9.

Van Wert was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance. Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury, who was in the courtroom at the arraignment Friday, declined comment.

In a recent interview with The Times, Van Wert - who was a candidate for a seat on the Bay County Board of Commissioners - was critical of the Sheriff's Department management structure. He was defeated in a primary election in August.

The sheriff's deputies often serve court papers for a fee ranging from $10 to $30 plus mileage but Van Wert has operated a private company called Court Service Integrity for 10 years, a business that also serves court papers, such as subpoenas, summonses, small claims papers, eviction notices and divorce papers to defendants and witnesses in legal disputes.

Miller charged that Van Wert often conducted his private business while on duty, which was a conflict of interest, and that he pocketed the money for serving the papers which should have gone to the county.

Van Wert has been charged with four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of making false certification under the vehicle code (obtaining restricted information) and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network. All of the charges are felonies except those involving the LEIN information, court documents show.

Monday, September 18, 2006

C.O. / Reserve Officer William Pattison - Charges Filed - Milford PD






Father sentenced to 40 to 60 years for sexual abuse and solicitation

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The Oakland Press
http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2008/02/13/local/20080213-archive20.txt

A 48-year-old Milford man accused of sexually abusing his daughter, starting when she was a child, and of helping her advertise her services as a prostitute as an adult, professed his innocence Tuesday in a tense courtroom.

But Oakland Circuit Judge Shalina Kumar exceeded sentencing guidelines and sent William Pattison to prison for 40-60 years.

Pattison was convicted last month of four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of pandering.

Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Nicki Weisberger said several years of sexual abuse began when Pattison's daughter was just 4 or 5. Later, when she was an adult, he was accused of helping her set up a posting on the Web site Craigslist that advertised her services as a prostitute, an activity from which he kept the money.

"The sheer volume of the criminal acts defy reason," Weisberger said.

Pattison's daughter, Bridget Pittmann, 27, said the prostitution was one of many things her father made her do in order for her to be allowed to see her own daughter. Pittmann had lost custody of her daughter because of drug use and Pattison's ex-wife got custody of the girl.

The Oakland Press does not normally print the names of sexual abuse victims but Pittmann gave her consent.

Pittmann said in court Tuesday that Pattison caused her to have a "life of horror." She said that she was pleased with his sentence.

"I'm happy because I think, with that amount of time, he won't be able to harm any other children," she said.

Milford police officers began investigating Pattison in summer 2006, when another one of his relatives came forward with allegations that he had raped her. Around the same time, police were alerted to a business card and a posting on the popular Web site Craigslist advertising a woman's sexual services

Police officers contacted the woman listed on the business card -- later discovered to be Pattison's daughter -- and set up a meeting in Milford with an undercover officer. She was arrested and convicted of a misdemeanor prostitution charge.

Police learned through investigating the relative's claims that his daughter also may have been abused. Pittmann denied the abuse at first but, fearing that Pattison might harm her daughter, eventually told officers about her experiences.

In court Tuesday, Pattison said he didn't think he received a fair trial.

"Your honor, I didn't commit any of these offenses," he said.

Kumar told Pattison that she believes that he's incapable of taking responsibility for his actions.

The sentencing guidelines called for Pattison to serve a minimum sentence of 10-25 years. In exceeding the top end of that range by 15 years, Kumar said the guidelines did not account for various elements of the case, such as Pattison using his job as a corrections officer to instill fear in his daughter. Pattison formerly worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections as a corrections officer at a facility in Plymouth.

Pattison's attorney, Daniel Randazzo, said he thinks the sentence is unjustly excessive. Randazzo believes Pattison is innocent and said he plans to appeal both the conviction and sentence.

Pattison will get credit for 536 days already served.

Supporters of Pittmann and Pattison filled opposite sides of the tense courtroom for the hearing. After Kumar announced the sentence, Pittmann's supporters clapped.

Pattison is also facing criminal charges for allegedly abusing the relative and a woman with whom he has a young child. Trial dates have not yet been set in either case.














Officer Sentenced for Pushing Daughter Into Prostitution
A former corrections officer is sentenced for sexually abusing his daughter and pushing her into prostitution.
Posted: 10:54 AM Feb 13, 2008
Reporter: AP
http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/15585687.html

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - A former corrections officer from Oakland County has been sentenced to 40 to 60 years in prison for sexually abusing his teenage daughter and encouraging her to advertise as an escort online.

An Oakland County jury on Tuesday found 48-year-old William Pattison of Milford guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and pandering.

The daughter, now 27, tells police the abuse started in the eighth grade. She says Pattison suggested she become a prostitute when she became old enough.

The Detroit News reports Pattison helped set up a Web site and would pick up the money she earned.

The Oakland Press reports Milford police began investigating Pattison in 2006, when another relative came forward with rape allegations.

Pattison's attorney said he plans to appeal.














Two men to be sentenced this afternoon for sexual assaults

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Oakland Press
http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2008/02/12/police/20080212-archive1.txt

Two men convicted of sexual assaults will be sentenced this afternoon before Oakland Circuit Judge Shalina Kumar.

One man broke into a girl's home and assaulted her, and the other was convicted of pimping out and abusing his daughter.

Timothy Willis Jeffrey, 39, of Cleveland, Ohio, was accused of taking an 8-year-old girl from her home and then sexually abusing her on a roof in South Lyon. A guest of a cousin, the Ohio native pleaded no contest last month to one count of kidnapping, one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of assault with intent to commit penetration and one count of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

He entered the plea as part of an agreement that his sentence will range from 25 to 40 years.

Also due before Kumar today is William Pattison, a 48-year-old Milford man who was convicted last month of sexually abusing his daughter as a teen and helping her as an adult advertise her services as a prostitute via the Internet. Pattison previously worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections as a corrections officer at a facility in Plymouth.

Pattison was convicted of four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of pandering. He faces up to life in prison.

Both men are in the Oakland County Jail.















Dad guilty of abuse, fostering prostitution

Published: Friday, January 18, 2008
The Oakland Press
http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2008/01/18/local/20080118-archive18.txt

A former Michigan Department of Corrections officer has been convicted of sexually abusing his daughter as a teen and helping her as an adult advertise her services as a prostitute via the Internet.

William Pattison, a 48-yearold from Milford, also faces allegations that he sexually abused two other women.

Milford police officers began investigating Pattison in summer 2006, when another relative came forward with allegations that he had raped her, said Milford police Detective Lt. Tom Callahan.

Around the same time, police were alerted to a business card and a posting on the popular Web site Craigslist advertising a woman's sexual services.

Police officers contacted the woman - later discovered to be Pattison's daughter - listed on the business card, and set up a meeting in Milford with an undercover officer. She was arrested and convicted of a misdemeanor prostitution charge. Police learned through investigating the relative's claims that his daughter also may have been abused, and she eventually told officers that Pattison sexually abused her for a few years, starting when she was in middle school.

Callahan said that when Pattison's daughter was an adult, he suggested she start working as a prostitute to earn extra money and use the Internet to advertise her services. Callahan said Pattison helped set up the Web posting and put pictures of his daughter on it.

The daughter, now 27, told police that Pattison would periodically pick up the money she earned, and would give some of it back to her whenever she needed to buy something.

A jury convicted Pattison this week of four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of pandering. Oakland Circuit Judge Shalina Kumar will sentence him Feb. 5.

Callahan said along with Pattison's relative, who is now 18, a woman in her early 20s with whom Pattison has a young child also has accused him of sexual abuse. Those cases are pending.

Pattison has worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections as a corrections officer at a facility in Plymouth. His attorney, Daniel Randazzo, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.














Cop Pimps His Own Daughter in Small Town
February 17, 2007
Digital Journal
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/117864/Cop_Pimps_His_Own_Daughter_in_Small_Town

In one of the most unusual cases that Milford police have ever investigated, authorities say that William Pattison advertised his daughter's services on the Internet, printed business cards and then set her up as a prostitute.

Bridgette was arrested for prostitution in a small, quaint town in Michigan. Much to the surprise of the authorities who led the sting operation her pimp was her own father, an auxillary cop and a prisons corrections officer. Bridgette stated that her father had been molesting her since she was four or five years old. He wanted to start making money with her after getting the idea from the internet. He forced his own daughter to sell herself for a hundred dollars per "john".

Before the prostitution she went to jail for drugs and shoplifting after having a child at the age of twenty. Her father's wife took custody of Bridgette's daughter. Bridgette ended up losing all parental rights, and was at the mercy of her father for visitation of her young daughter. This is how her dad was able to force her into being a prostitute.

Bridgette's daughter is now seven years old. Has this little girl's grandfather been molesting her as he started doing to his own daughter when she was young? Bridgette's lawyer is fighting to get custody away from the wife of William P









Milford woman tells cops her pimp, abuser: it's dad.
September 22, 2006
Detroit Free Press
Byline: Frank Witsil
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-20050109_ITM

Sep. 22--A 26-year-old woman is sitting in the Oakland County Jail today, serving a sentence for prostitution. And now prosecutors say they are going after her pimp -- her dad.

In one of the most unusual cases that Milford police have ever investigated, authorities say that William Pattison, 47, advertised his daughter's services on the Internet, printed business cards and then set her up as a prostitute. Pattison, a former Michigan corrections officer, also is charged with forcing four females -- including his daughter -- to have sex with him.

"It's a mess," police Lt. Tom Callahan said Thursday. The investigation report, which began in July, is more than 5 inches thick -- and detectives are still trying to determine whether there may be other victims, Callahan said. "If everything that is alleged is true, he's pretty sick," he said.

Pattison is in the Oakland County Jail on $1.2 million bond. He faces one count of pandering, a felony punishable by up to 20 years, and several counts of criminal sexual conduct, including first degree, which carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.

He was arraigned Monday in district court in Novi and is due back at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 9 for a preliminary examination. Pattison's attorney, Daniel Randazzo, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

Until now, Milford was mostly known as site of a search for Jimmy Hoffa's body this summer. Residents said Thursday they were shocked to learn of the prostitution case. Kevin Olszewski, 35, who lives on the same street where the prostitute lived, said Milford is an unlikely place to find prostitution -- especially charges that a father acted as his daughter's pimp. "That sounds unusual anywhere," he said.

The daughter is getting treatment for substance abuse and psychological treatment in jail. Douglas Barnett, a clinical psychology professor at Wayne State, said "it may be hard for her to know how abnormal this is if this is how she's grown up."

The Free Press typically does not print the names of alleged sexual abuse victims and is withholding the woman's name for publication.

The woman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor prostitution charge this summer.

Police got a tip from a man who saw a suspicious personal ad on a Web site. The woman's attorney, Bill Urich, said that his client initially was reluctant to say anything to police about her father's involvement in her crime. But, Urich said, as the evidence mounted against Pattison, the woman agreed to cooperate with detectives and gave a full account.

Urich cited another issue: The woman had lost custody of her young daughter, who was then in Pattison's custody. The father made her "do things she wouldn't do, by preventing her from having contact with her daughter," Urich said. There are no allegations of sexual abuse involving the granddaughter, and she is in the care of the state, Urich said.









COMMENT FROM:
This is just too sad:
Merrilee Comstock said...

Not only did the court continue to let Bill's EX-WIFE, Denise Pattison, continue to have custody; they also allowed her to adopt our baby without even giving us notice. . .like they said they would at every hearing we were at!!! Talk about INJUSTICE HERE. . .Yes, Bill is in jail. . .but HIS HELPER, aka his EX-WIFE Denise Pattison, now has adopted our young girl when we - her blood family (I'm her great aunt. . .her REAL aunt) - have done NOTHING WRONG!!! WHY?!?!?!?!? Oh, yea, he was sentenced 02-12-2007 with 4 CSC 1ST Degree x 2 + 3RD Degree x 1 charges & jailed for 40-60 yrs currently, 1 charge of Pandering & 3 more 1ST, CSC charges & jailed for 20 years currently at Oak Correctional Facility verify at: http://www.state.mi.us/mdoc/asp/otis2profile.asp?mdocNumber=659881

The only thing missing is HER mdoc number next to HIS!!! Instead she was awarded our baby for her part in his dastardly deeds as she testified to !~(
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2006/09/reserve-officer-william-patterson.html

















Monday, September 11, 2006

Former Reserve Officer Lyle Sutton - Traverse City PD



Former Traverse City Reserve Officer Lyle Sutton violated a personal protective order.



Sutton reportedly called his ex-girlfriend almost two-hundred times between September and October 2005....





"Hope you said your prayers because you may be going to hell tonight...", were some of the death threats that Sutton's ex-girlfriend received.






Police said that part of the difficulty in catching Sutton, was due to Sutton's previous law enforcement training.





ALSO SEE:
VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER: SLASHED EX-GIRLFRIEND'S TIRES





VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER: BROKE INTO EX-GIRLFRIEND'S HOUSE




















Ex-reserve officer jailed on stalking charges
Week in Review
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
Oct 29, 2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/oct/29week.htm

BEULAH — A former Traverse City Police reserve officer is in the Benzie County Jail on aggravated stalking charges for allegedly harassing a former girlfriend.

Lyle Sutton, 59, is accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend by calling her hundreds of times a month since they broke up in April 2005, said Tom Whale, a detective with the Benzie County Sheriff's Department.

Traverse City Police Sgt. Brian Heffner said Sutton left the city's reserve police program around 1994.

Sutton has been convicted twice since April 2005 for violating a personal protection order his ex-girlfriend obtained against him, Whale said.

Sutton had been unable to post his $100,000 bond and remained in Benzie County Jail Thursday morning. He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if convicted.








Ex-officer is in jail on charges he stalked woman
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By VICTOR SKINNER
10/26/2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/oct/26stalk.htm

BEULAH — A former Traverse City Police reserve officer is in the Benzie County Jail on aggravated stalking charges for allegedly harassing a former girlfriend.

Lyle Sutton, 59, is accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend by calling her hundreds of times a month since they broke up in April 2005, said Tom Whale, a detective with the Benzie County Sheriff's Department.

Sutton allegedly used voice distortion devices to leave death threats and provocative messages on the woman's phone.

"There were periods that he would call her every one to five minutes for hours on end," Whale said. "For the month of September until now, we have identified 194 calls."

Sutton eluded detectives for months by allegedly using several different phones and by blocking the phone numbers when he called. Whale used four warrants to search the records of two of the phones Sutton allegedly owned after another woman received unblocked calls from the phones.

Traverse City Police Sgt. Brian Heffner said Sutton left the city's reserve police program around 1994.

Sutton has been convicted twice since April 2005 for violating a personal protection order his ex-girlfriend obtained against him, Whale said. The first for breaking into her home and rearranging her belongings and the second time for slashing her tires, Whale said.

Sutton had been unable to post his $100,000 bond and remained in Benzie County Jail Thursday morning. He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if convicted.









Ex T.C. cop arrested for stalking in Benzie County
oldies1015
By: Chuck Randall Wed. Oct. 25 2006
http://oldies1015.com/news.php?news_id=6078

Former reserve Police Officer with the Traverse City Police Department is arrested for stalking his ex Benzie County girl friend. Lyle Sutton is accused of making close to 200-calls to the ex-girl friend, who broke up with Sutton in April of 2005, in the last month that included daily death threats.

Benzie Detectives say that Sutton has also violated two personal protection orders, slashed the woman’s tires and broke in to her home. Sutton was jailed for those incidents. Sutton is facing an aggravated stalking charge which carries a 5-year sentence if he's convicted.










Stalking Arrest
9and10news
Posted: 10/24/2006
http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=108175

Sutton has been threatening to kill her in phone messages - Hope you said your prayers because you may be going to hell tonight.

Almost 200 phone calls to his ex-girlfriend within the past month are part the reason police say a Traverse City man is in jail. Detectives with the Benzie County Sheriff Department say Lyle Sutton started stalking his ex-girlfriend after they broke up in April of 2005.

Since the break-up police say Sutton has violated two personal protection orders filed by his ex-girlfriend. Sutton also served time in jail after admitting to police he broke into her house and slashed her car tires.

Now detectives are examining Sutton's cell phone records. Police say Sutton would call his ex-girlfriend dozens of times a day and make death threats. Detectives say part of the reason it has been difficult for them to catch Sutton is because he is a former reserve officer with the Traverse City Police Department.


















TRAGIC TWIST to the domestic violence in Sutton's life:
Lyle Sutton's sister, Shari Marvin was a victim of domestic violence. On February 25, 2010, Sheri was murdered by her abusive husband, Michael Marvin.







Sister's murder shows value of family
BY ALEX PIAZZA
The Record Eagle
Fri Dec 31, 2010, 06:14 AM EST
http://record-eagle.com/local/x43235165/Sisters-murder-shows-value-of-family

TRAVERSE CITY — Family comes first for Lyle Sutton.

The Traverse City resident plans to organize a family reunion next summer. He often calls relatives just to check up on them. And family falls even higher on his priority list after a local man killed his sister.

"You can't take family for granted," Sutton said. "If somebody is mad at their mom or dad, they better make up because there's no second chances. When it's done, it's done."

His sister, Shari Marvin, fell victim Feb. 25 to a domestic dispute turned murder. Michael Marvin, 48, repeatedly stabbed Shari, his wife, with a kitchen knife after an argument over infidelity in their Garfield Township apartment. She died from internal hemorrhaging caused by stab wounds.

Prosecutors charged Marvin with an open count of murder after he drunkenly told deputies he stabbed his wife. Marvin called 911 after the stabbing and waited outside the apartment until deputies arrived. Authorities entered the apartment and found Shari Marvin face-up on a bed with blood on her hands and clothing.

Deputies then found Marvin in the bathroom, cutting his neck with a knife. He was taken to Munson Medical Center for a reported suicide attempt.

Jurors in November found Marvin guilty of second-degree murder. Two weeks later, 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas G. Power sentenced Marvin to 15 to 25 years in prison.

Sutton was pleased that jurors convicted Marvin, but said he wanted a harsher punishment for the man who killed his sister.

"I would have liked to see him get 25 to life," Sutton said.

Sutton sat through weeks of testimony, during which he heard an array of stories on how his sister died. Marvin also chose to defend himself, and his lack of experience was evident as testimony and cross-examination extended the trial by several days. He asked Power to remove two defense attorneys — Philip Settles and Paul Jarboe — because he believed he'd have a better shot at winning the case by himself.

"I thought the whole thing was fairly strange," said Jarboe, who accompanied Marvin at trial and helped him when he requested assistance. "I think everybody involved tried to convince him that it made more sense for an attorney to handle the trial."

But for a man with no prior legal experience, Jarboe and Power said they were surprised by how Marvin handled himself in court.

"Marvin actually did a pretty good job," Power said. "He is very smart and he spent a lot of time getting ready. He made some decisions that a lawyer would have undoubtedly done differently."

His trial preparation also was unusual, as corrections officers prevented him from using a writing utensil to take notes in his cell because of an apparent suicide attempt. And because of that and other attempts to harm himself, deputies outfitted him in a white helmet and multiple sets of restraint straps during his initial court hearings.













Family retains pain of murder trial
'It was heart-wrenching ... very, very difficult,' brother says
BY ALEX PIAZZA
The Record Eagle
Thu Nov 04, 2010, 07:13 AM EDT
http://record-eagle.com/local/x1048514913/Family-retains-pain-of-murder-trial










Lyle Sutton, left, and Tedd Strieter, both of Traverse City, sit with a photo of their sister, Shari Marvin, on Wednesday. Record-Eagle/Keith King









Shari Marvin







Michael Marvin


TRAVERSE CITY — Lyle Sutton sat through weeks of testimony and heard an array of stories on how his sister died.

He gripped his cane in 13th Circuit Court as Grand Traverse County prosecutors displayed pictures of his sister, Shari Marvin, prone in bed with multiple stab wounds to her chest.

Sutton also watched a lengthy video in which Michael Marvin told Grand Traverse sheriff's deputies he stabbed Shari, his wife, after an argument over infidelity.

Jurors convicted Michael Marvin, 48, this week of killing Shari, but Sutton said the images and testimony will stick with him for life.

"It was heart-wrenching ... very, very difficult," he said. "Not a day goes by, every day I think about it."

Sutton and several other family members observed as jurors on Tuesday found Michael Marvin guilty of second-degree murder in the Feb. 25 slaying of Shari Marvin. Marvin's sentencing is Nov. 16.

Tedd Strieter, Shari's brother, acknowledged the difficulty in sitting through a trial that lasted nearly three weeks.

"I couldn't even look at the pictures. I turned my head," Strieter said.

Prosecutors charged Marvin in February with an open count of murder after he told deputies he stabbed his wife in their Garfield Township apartment.

Marvin called authorities after the stabbing and waited outside the apartment until they arrived. Authorities entered the apartment and found Shari Marvin face-up on a bed with blood on her hands and clothing.

Deputies then found Michael Marvin inside the bathroom, cutting his neck with a knife. He was taken to Munson Medical Center for a reported suicide attempt.

"Shari was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Strieter said. "I still don't hate him. But I'll never forgive him for what he did."

Proceedings were delayed because of Marvin's problems with his court-appointed attorneys. He asked Judge Thomas G. Power to remove two defense attorneys — Philip Settles and Paul Jarboe — so he could represent himself. Power agreed, but assigned Jarboe to accompany Marvin at trial and help him if he requested assistance.

"I think it's an almost impossible task for anyone charged with such a serious crime to represent themselves," Jarboe said. "I thought at times he did an adequate job, and other times he had great difficulty with the procedures."

Jarboe, a veteran lawyer, plans to accompany Marvin at his sentencing.

"This is one of the stranger experiences I've had in 28 years," Jarboe said. "It's not something I would want to do again. I found the whole situation very sad."

Strieter and Sutton plan to speak at the sentencing. Both men want to ask Marvin why he killed their sister.

"Why didn't he just turn around and walk away?" Strieter said. "There's no explanation for what happened and there never will be."

Strieter wrote a letter to Shari two days after she died. He did so to help him cope with her death.

"I always thought life had meaning with you in it," he wrote. "But now, I'm feeling pretty empty. I want you back, Shari. I can't ever bring you back, that's impossible, I know that, but I will keep loving you like a brother should."

Strieter and Sutton agree their sister's death strengthened their family bond.

"I promised everybody I was going to keep in touch until the day I die," Sutton said. "Life is definitely too short not to keep in contact, especially with family. I guarantee you that everybody is going to keep in touch because everybody now knows life is just too short."

The family plans to celebrate Thanksgiving together, a holiday they consider one of Shari's favorites.












Tapes may not be heard in murder case
Stabbing death trial will begin in late August
BY ALEX PIAZZA
The Record Eagle
Thu Jul 29, 2010, 07:12 AM EDT
http://record-eagle.com/local/x722286204/Tapes-may-not-be-heard-in-murder-case

TRAVERSE CITY — Lyle Sutton cringed as he gripped his cane and listened to audio tapes of a Traverse City man tell detectives that he murdered his wife, Sutton's sister, in a drunken rage.

Prosecutors on Wednesday played recorded interviews of Michael Marvin, 48, as he told Grand Traverse sheriff's deputies in February that he killed his wife, Shari, 46, after an argument over infidelity in their Garfield Township apartment off LaFranier Road.

"It made my stomach turn," Sutton said. "I was tearing up."

But it's uncertain whether the audio tapes will be admissible during Michael Marvin's 13th Circuit Court trial, slated to begin in late August. Judge Thomas G. Power plans to continue a suppression motion hearing over the tapes next week.

Grand Traverse County authorities charged Michael Marvin in February with an open count of murder. Authorities contend he stabbed his wife seven times with a kitchen knife. Shari Marvin died from internal hemorrhaging caused by the stab wounds.

Michael Marvin called authorities after the Feb. 25 stabbing and waited outside the apartment until they arrived, deputies said. They walked in and found Shari Marvin face-up on a bed with blood on her hands and clothing.

Deputies then found Michael Marvin inside the bathroom "in the act of cutting his neck area with a knife," court records show. He was taken to Munson Medical Center for a "reported suicide attempt with knife wounds to (the) neck area."

Sheriff's Detective Paul Gomez visited Marvin at the hospital, and the accused murderer admitted his guilt.

"I'm going to plead guilty because I am guilty," said Marvin, whose blood-alcohol level at the time was four times the state's legal limit. "I'm guilty as hell. I know I did it."

Philip Settles, Marvin's attorney, contends his client's elevated level of intoxication prompted him to make such incriminating statements. Settles said Marvin also asserted his right to remain silent, but authorities continued to interrogate him at both the Dennis W. Finch Law Enforcement Center and the Grand Traverse County Jail.

"He did invoke his right to remain silent," Settles said.

Marvin remains in the county jail, where he is required to wear a helmet and restraint straps when he leaves his cell to protect him from self-inflicted injuries.








Judge: Man can stand trial in wife's death
Michael Marvin accused of stabbing Shari Marvin
BY ALEX PIAZZA
The Record Eagle
Fri May 14, 2010, 07:25 AM EDT
http://record-eagle.com/local/x433568185/Judge-Man-can-stand-trial-in-wifes-death









Shari Lee Sutton Marvin







Michael David Marvin appeared in 86th District Court and was ruled competent to stand trial by Judge Thomas Phillips in the stabbing death of his wife.




TRAVERSE CITY — Michael David Marvin stood out among every inmate who stepped into a Traverse City courtroom.

A white helmet covered his head. Multiple sets of restraint straps replaced standard jail shackles. And a pair of Grand Traverse sheriff's deputies accompanied him Thursday into 86th District Court.

Deputies removed his helmet, then Judge Thomas J. Phillips ruled Marvin competent to stand trial in the stabbing death of his wife, Shari Lee Marvin.

"This is not the Mike I know," said Tedd Strieter, Shari's brother. "To see him like this is just incredible. He looks like something out of Star Wars."

Marvin, 47, of Traverse City, is required to wear a helmet and restraint straps whenever he leaves his jail cell, said Grand Traverse sheriff's Capt. Robert Hall.

"Mr. Marvin has attempted to hurt himself on several occasions," Hall said. "(The helmet's) to prevent him from banging his head on the wall or running into the wall."

He underwent a psychiatric evaluation after prosecutors charged him three months ago with an open count of murder. Authorities contend Marvin in February stabbed his wife, 46, multiple times in the chest with a knife after an argument inside their Garfield Township apartment off LaFranier Road.

Psychiatric evaluation results determined Marvin is competent to stand trial, and he's expected to appear for a June 4 preliminary examination. Philip A. Settles, Marvin's attorney, would not comment as he exited the courtroom.

Marvin remains on suicide watch in a Grand Traverse County Jail observation cell, Hall said. Marvin attempted to commit suicide in the jail in March. Authorities transported Marvin to Munson Medical Center after his failed suicide attempt, then to a psychiatric center in Ypsilanti upon his hospital release.

"He's on constant video, and any time he's out of the cell, he's in the company of at least two officers," Hall said.

Lyle Sutton, Shari's other brother, was shocked by Marvin's court appearance.

"I wanted him to look me in the eyes to let him know I'm here," he said. "I didn't see any compassion whatsoever."

Marvin told authorities he and his wife drank alcohol the night of her death. They argued about infidelity, and he "stabbed his wife out of anger," court records show.

"I don't hate Mike, I just hate what he did," Sutton said. "It was done out of rage and jealousy."

Michael Marvin allegedly called authorities shortly after the stabbing, and waited outside the apartment until they arrived. They walked in and found Shari Marvin face-up on a bed with blood on her hands and clothing.

Authorities then found Michael Marvin in the bathroom "in the act of cutting his neck area with a knife," court records show. He was taken to Munson Medical Center for a "reported suicide attempt with knife wounds to (the) neck area."

Deputy Michael Harvey - Sentenced - Antrim SD




Also See:

Deputy Michael Harvey charged with domestic violence [May 13, 2006]:













Former deputy sent to prison for assaulting wife
Grand Haven Tribune, MI
http://www.grandhaventribune.com/paid/287490498780529.bsp

BELLAIRE (AP) — A judge imposed extra prison time on a former Antrim County sheriff's deputy who assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her.

Michael Harvey, 34, pleaded guilty last month to felonious assault and misdemeanor domestic violence. Under state sentencing guidelines, he would have gone to jail for a year. But Circuit Judge Thomas G. Power said that wasn't enough, ordering Harvey to prison for two to four years.

Power also ruled Harvey ineligible for "boot camp" rehabilitation — a military-style program that can lead to early release.

"This is not a boot camp case," Power said during a hearing Monday. "Mr. Harvey needs to sit for two years."

Harvey's wife testified her husband "has held a gun to my head a total of five times."

The final time was May 13, when Harvey drove to his Central Lake home while on duty and pulled his service weapon during an argument about pending divorce proceedings. It happened in front of the couple's youngest son.

"The most heartbreaking thing was hearing my 2-year-old son saying, 'Daddy, don't shoot mommy,"' Trish Harvey said. "I'd like Mike to know he'll never hurt me again."

Harvey offered a brief, tearful apology to his wife and family.












Deputy headed to prison
Harvey pulled a gun on his wife while on duty
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By CRAIG McCOOL
09/12/2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/sep/12harvey.htm

BELLAIRE — A former Antrim County sheriff's deputy will spend at least two years in prison for assaulting his wife and threatening to kill her.

Sentence guidelines called for Michael Harvey to go to jail for 12 months, but Antrim Circuit Judge Thomas G. Power said that wasn't adequate and ordered Harvey to prison for two to four years.

Harvey's wife told Power during Monday's hearing that her husband "has held a gun to my head a total of five times."

The final time was May 13, when Harvey drove to his Central Lake home while on duty and pulled his service weapon during an argument about pending divorce proceedings. It happened in front of the couple's youngest son.

"The most heartbreaking thing was hearing my two-year-old son saying 'Daddy, don't shoot mommy,'" Trish Harvey said. "I'd like Mike to know he'll never hurt me again."

Harvey, 34, pleaded guilty last month to felonious assault and misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

Power sentenced Harvey to three months behind bars on the latter conviction, though that time will be served concurrently with the longer sentence. The domestic violence charge stems from an incident involving another woman with whom Harvey was romantically involved.

Some prison inmates, generally first-time offenders, are eligible for state "boot camp" programs — state-run, military-style rehabilitation programs that can lead to early release. Power made a point to exclude Harvey, though.

"This is not a boot camp case," Power said. "Mr. Harvey needs to sit for two years."

Harvey offered a brief apology to his wife and family Monday, and wiped tears from his face with the front of his shirt.

The judge described how Harvey pointed his handgun at his wife's head so close that "the barrel touched her hair" and then threatened to kill her, their children and her mother.

"The pre-sentence report says (Harvey has) 'uncontrollable anger issues,'" Power said. "I guess that's the understatement of the day. It's hard to understand what he was thinking on any level."












Former Deputy Sent To Prison For Assault
tv7-4.com
Antrim County
Sep 11, 2006
http://www.tv7-4.com/Global/story.asp?S=5392202&nav=1vrj

A former Sheriff's Deputy will spend up to four years behind bars for threatening his wife and child.

Investigators say in May, while Antrim County Deputy Michael Harvey was on duty, he went home and threatened his wife with a gun and pointed a taser gun at his two year old son. In August Harvey pled guilty to felonious assault and domestic violence. He was sentenced to two to four years Monday on the felonious assault charge and three months for domestic violence.











Former deputy pleads guilty
He was accused of threatening his wife
By CRAIG McCOOL
Record-Eagle staff writer
08/19/2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/aug/19harvey.htm

BELLAIRE — A former Antrim County deputy pleaded guilty to assault charges for threatening his wife with his service weapon while on duty.

Michael Harvey, 34, likely will face less than a year in jail when sentenced next month on felonious assault and domestic violence charges.

Defense attorney Douglas Gutscher said he believed the sentencing guidelines would fall between zero and nine months.

Harvey pleaded guilty Aug. 10 to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon — a four-year felony — for the May 13 incident at his home in Central Lake.

Police said the six-year Antrim County Sheriff's Department veteran threatened to kill his wife because she initiated divorce proceedings.

"I will kill you, your mother and then myself," Harvey allegedly told his wife, according to police reports.

"You need to stop the attorney, stop the divorce, stop everything."

Harvey also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of domestic violence.

He initially was charged with two counts of felonious assault. The Grand Traverse County Prosecutor's Office, which was appointed special prosecutor in Harvey's case, later added a felony firearm charge — for allegedly using a gun during the commission of a felony — and two additional counts of domestic violence against Harvey.

The domestic violence charges didn't involve Harvey's wife, but a second woman, Gutscher said.

To be dismissed as part of the plea agreement are: one count of felonious assault; one felony firearm charge; and a second domestic violence charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11 in Antrim Circuit Court.

Harvey was suspended from the sheriff's department without pay immediately after he was charged and was subsequently fired.




Wednesday, September 6, 2006

MSP LT. Aaron Sweeney - Pestoskey Post

 
 
 


Michigan State Police LT. Aaron Sweeney of the Petoskey post was arrested and charged with domestic violence: September 06, 2006.

After his arrest, Sweeney was transferred to Grand Rapids Post and is no longer a trainer with the State Police fire investigation unit.




Policing the texting-while-driving ban
Troopers discuss enforcement
Updated: Thursday, 29 Apr 2010, 11:33 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 29 Apr 2010, 10:28 PM EDT
By Jessica Leffler
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/michigan/Policing-the-texting-while-driving-ban


video

Sgt Aaron Sweeney is the second trooper in this video

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The ban on texting while driving is expected to be signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Friday, which will be broadcast on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

It will be a primary offense -- meaning police can pull you over if they see you texting while driving. But what will officers and troopers look for on the roads?

24 Hour News 8 rode along with a trooper during rush-hour traffic Thursday to hear from police. Many drivers were using their cell phones, and some were more engaged in their phones than they were the traffic around them.

"Just think, when they're on their phone text messaging, you gotta take your eyes off the road," Trooper Dale Cook said.

Close calls caused by texting happen way too often, police said.

"(One woman) was doing about 35 -- never saw the stop sign because she was text messaging," Cook said. "And she hit that embankment. That's the only thing that stopped her."

In February in Georgetown Township, Jenison High School senior Eric Helm was killed on his way to school. Investigators say he likely was texting while driving.

"(The ban) will help us enforce that law and help keep people's eyes on the road, where they need to be," Sgt. Aaron Sweeney said.

Nearly 6,000 people were killed and 500,000 were injured in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Troopers hope the ban could make roads safer.

"Traffic safety is our goal," Sweeney said. "And anytime we can keep the drivers' eyes on the road, we're going to decrease their chances of being distracted and in an accident."

It's not always obvious when a driver is texting, but police do look for certain behaviors.

"Some people start to drift off, the right to the left, and that's the first indication that someone's on their phone text messaging, because they're not watching the road," Cook said.

The first time you're pulled over for texting while driving, the fine is $100. The second time, the fine is increased to $200









Police post commander demoted, transferred
Petoskey News-Review, MI
By Steve Zucker News-Review staff writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 11:54 AM EST
http://www.petoskeynews.com/articles/2007/01/10/news/local_regional/news2.txt

Michigan State Police officials have demoted and re-assigned the former commander of the Petoskey post following an internal investigation into domestic violence allegations against the officer.

State police public affairs officials said on Dec. 19 Aaron Sweeney, 41, was given a one-grade demotion from first lieutenant to lieutenant and re-assigned to a position as a trainer with the agency's fire investigation unit in Gaylord.

The disciplinary action follows a department investigation into an incident that took place at Sweeney's residence on Sept. 6.

Following the incident, Emmet County sheriff's deputies arrested Sweeney on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

On Oct. 11, Sweeney pleaded no-contest to the charge. A no-contest plea is like a guilty plea in that the person is held responsible for the crime and a conviction is entered in the record. Such pleas are only allowed in cases where the defendant either cannot remember the circumstances surrounding the crime because of intoxication or that the case could have possible civil implications. In Sweeney's case, his pending divorce from the victim in the case was the basis for the no-contest plea.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Sweeney was given a deferred sentence. That means that if he successfully completes the six months of probation - which includes paying several hundred dollars in fines and costs and participating in counseling - the conviction will be removed from Sweeney's record.

At the time of the sentence, the prosecutor involved in the case said such deferred sentences are very common in domestic violence cases such as Sweeney's where a defendant has no prior convictions. He said Sweeney was not given special treatment because of his position and said the plea was offered after consultation with the victim in the case.

The commander of the Cheboygan post, F/Lt. Kenneth Holm, is serving as the interim commander of the Petoskey post until a replacement for Sweeney is named. Sweeney, a 20-year veteran of the department, had been the Petoskey post commander since August of 2000. He has previously worked in the department's fire marshal division.


 
 
 









Post commander enters no contest plea
Petoskey News-Review, MI
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 2:51 PM EDT http://www.petoskeynews.com/articles/2006/10/25/news/local_regional/news02.txt

The commander of the Petoskey Michigan State Police who was facing a domestic violence charge has taken advantage of a plea agreement that will likely result in no conviction being entered on his record.

Special domestic violence prosecutor Mike Findlay said F/Lt. Aaron Sweeney, 41, pleaded no contest on Oct. 11 to a charge of domestic violence stemming from a Sept. 6 incident.

A no-contest plea is like a guilty plea in that the person is held responsible for the crime and a conviction is entered in the record. Such pleas are only allowed in cases where the defendant either cannot remember the circumstances surrounding the crime because of intoxication or that the case could have possible civil implications. In Sweeney's case, his pending divorce from the victim in the case was the basis for the no-content plea, Findlay said.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Sweeney was given a deferred sentence. That means that if he successfully completes the six months of probation - which includes paying several hundred dollars in fines and costs and participating in counseling - the conviction will be removed from Sweeney's record.

Findlay said such deferred sentences are very common in domestic violence cases such as Sweeney's, where a defendant has no prior convictions. He said Sweeney was not given special treatment because of his position and said the plea was offered after consultation with the victim in the case.

Emmet County Sheriff's deputies arrested Sweeney late on Sept. 6 after officers were called a report of a domestic disturbance at a home in Little Traverse Township.

Authorities have not provided details of the incident, but said no one was injured in the incident.
Sweeney was not available before press time today, Wednesday.

State police officials earlier said they would be conducting their own internal investigation into the incident, but said such investigations typically do not begin until after the criminal portion of the case has been completed.















State Police Lieutenant Pleads No Contest To Domestic Charges
WPBN-TV, MI
Oct 25, 2006
http://www.tv7-4.com/Global/story.asp?S=5588844&nav=1vrj

A Michigan State Police Trooper pleads no contest to domestic violence charges. In September First Lieutenant Aaron Sweeney of the State Police Post in Petoskey was charged with assault and battery. He has since pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge and was put on six months probation. If Lieutenant Sweeney does not violate any terms of the probation, there will be no conviction on his record.








Post commander gets fine, probation
He pleads no contest to domestic violence
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
BY CRAIG MCCOOL
Oct 25, 2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/oct/25sweeney.htm

PETOSKEY — A deferred sentence could mean a clean record for a Michigan State Police command officer accused of domestic violence.

Lt. Aaron Sweeney, commander of the state police post in Petoskey, was fined $500 and ordered to a term of probation with anger management sessions after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count, Emmet District Court records show.

Judge Richard May signed the order Oct. 11. If after six months Sweeney has not violated any probation terms, no conviction will be entered in the public record.

Sweeney, 41, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after an incident with his wife at the couple's Little Traverse Township home. Prosecutors and Emmet County sheriff's officials repeatedly declined to discuss specifics about the incident.

Court records showed that special prosecutor Michael Findlay, an assistant state attorney general assigned to domestic violence cases in northern Michigan, offered the deferred status program as part of a plea agreement.

Sweeney declined comment and referred questions to his attorney, Joseph Kwiatkowski, who did not return phone calls.

The court took Sweeney's plea under advisement, Findlay said.

"The judge is kind of hanging this over his head, and as long as he does what he's supposed to, the conviction never gets entered," he said. Findlay said Sweeney did not receive special treatment.

"Any defendant, doing what he did, with no prior record and no history of assaultive behavior, would have been offered a deferred sentence," the prosecutor said. "Deferred sentences get used an awful lot with first-time offenders."

Findlay declined to discuss specifics of the incident, saying only that the victim suffered no injuries.

A conviction on Sweeney's record, now an unlikely event, could have jeopardized his career, as those convicted of domestic violence are not, under federal law, supposed to posses firearms.














Post commander waives arraignment
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By CRAIG MCCOOL
09/28/2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/sep/28sweeney.htm

PETOSKEY — A Michigan State Police post commander who faces domestic violence charges said a conviction could jeopardize his career.

Lt. Aaron Sweeney, head of the Petoskey state police post, waived an arraignment hearing that had been set for Emmet District Court. A conviction could cost him his career, he told a Record-Eagle reporter Wednesday.

"There is a provision that if convicted of domestic violence, you can't carry a weapon," Sweeney said. "It's a state law."

Sweeney, 41, faces a single misdemeanor domestic violence charge. The alleged victim is his wife. The couple is in the midst of a divorce.

He is free on $1,000 bond and remains on duty following his arrest by Emmet County sheriff's deputies Sept. 7, the day after the alleged assault in the couple's Little Traverse Township home. A pre-trail hearing is set for Oct. 11.

Emmet Sheriff Peter Wallin declined to release information about Sweeney's case.

Sweeney, too, declined to discuss the pending charges.

"I can't talk about the domestic violence case," he said. "I'd like to. The imagination makes it a lot worse than the actual facts."








Accused cop not on leave
He faces domestic violence charge
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
September 09, 2006
By CRAIG McCOOLRecord-Eagle staff writer
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/sep/09cop.htm

PETOSKEY — A high-ranking Michigan State Police officer who faces domestic violence charges has not been placed on leave and remains on work status, though he currently isn't working.

Lt. Aaron Sweeney, commander of the MSP Petoskey Post, faces a single misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Sweeney was arrested Thursday by Emmet County sheriff's deputies at a residence in Little Traverse Township, court records show.

The alleged victim is Sweeney's wife. The couple have had divorce proceedings pending in Emmet Circuit Court since March, records show.

Sweeney, 41, could not be reached for comment. He has not been arraigned and is free on $1,000 bond. He is scheduled for arraignment this month.

Emmet Sheriff Peter Wallin and special prosecutor Michael Findlay, an assistant attorney general who handles all domestic violence cases in Emmet County, declined to provide details of the incident.

Inspector Russell Smith of the state police 7th District Headquarters said Sweeney has not been suspended.

"He is on working status, yes," Smith said. "They have leaves available to them. He has chosen to take some time off."

A state police news release indicates violations of administrative rules are "aggressively investigated," and spokeswoman Melody Kindraka said the potential violation that could apply involves a general rule that prohibits troopers from violating local, state or federal laws.

The rule does not identify potential penalties for such a violation, and Smith said "a person is allowed to continue to work with a misdemeanor conviction."

It is unclear what effect a domestic violence conviction might have on a defendant's right to carry firearms, said Findlay, because state and federal law differ on the issue.

"As a general rule, a domestic violence conviction, by state law, does not prohibit you from owning a weapon," Findlay said. "It does prohibit you from carrying a concealed weapon, but law enforcement officers are exempt from that."

"My understanding of federal law," Findlay said, "is that a conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor means that you're prohibited from possessing a firearm. And there is no exemption" for police officers.













State cop charged for domestic violence
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
Sep 8, 2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/sep/08cop.htm

PETOSKEY — The state police Petoskey post commander faces a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, although no details about the nature of the charge were available. F/Lt. Aaron Sweeney was charged with domestic violence in Emmet County District Court Thursday, said Michael Findlay, a special assistant attorney general who specializes in domestic violence cases.

Findlay said he could not provide details about what led to charges, and no information was immediately available from the state police or the Emmet County Sheriff's Department. Sweeney could not be reached for comment.








State police post commander arrested on domestic assault charge
By Steve Zucker, News-Review staff writerFriday
September 8, 2006 1:56 PM EDT
http://www.petoskeynews.com/articles/2006/09/08/news/local_regional/news01.txt


The commander of the Petoskey Michigan State Police Post was arrested on a domestic violence charge late Wednesday.

Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said deputies from his office arrested Petoskey Post Commander F/Lt. Aaron Sweeney, 41, at a location on Pickerel Lake Road, stemming from allegations of an incident that happened in Little Traverse Township.

Wallin said the complaint originally came in to the state police post around 9:50 p.m., but because of the suspect in the case, troopers asked the sheriff's office to handle the investigation.

Wallin didn't provide details of the incident, but said it was typical of the dozens of domestic assault cases his and other Northern Michigan police agencies handle every year.

Based upon their investigation, deputies arrested Sweeney on a charge of domestic violence and lodged him at the Emmet County Jail. He was released Thursday after posting bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge in 90th District Court on Sept. 27.

Domestic violence is misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

The charge was authorized by and the case will be handled by Michigan Attorney General's office prosecutor Mike Findlay. Findlay is a special prosecutor assigned to handle domestic violence cases in a five-county area including Emmet County.

Wallin noted that it is his policy not to release the name of any person charged with any crime until after he or she is arraigned. He said the release of the information about Sweeney's arrest came from state police officials.

Inspector Russell Smith at the Michigan State Police 7th District Headquarters in Williamsburg said state police officials released the information about Sweeney's arrest in an effort to be up front with the public about the situation.

“The MSP has a long-standing tradition of demanding the highest possible standards of professional conduct from its enforcement and civilian members. To that end, all allegations of misconduct are aggressively investigated ... Regardless of whether a criminal charge results in a conviction, employees can still be subject to administrative penalties resulting from violations of department policy,” the state police news release reads.

Smith said Sweeney will remain on active duty until the completion of both the criminal case and the department's internal investigation.

He said that a misdemeanor conviction alone is not grounds for dismissal for a state police trooper, but that such a conviction would be factored in to the department's internal investigation.

Sweeney has been with the Michigan State Police since 1987 and has been the post commander at the Petoskey Post since 2000.