Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Judge David Stowe - Cynthia - DV probation

After Cynthia Stowe's  assault on her teenage son and husband Judge David Stowe [January 30, 2012], a year was added to her DUI probation. A stipulation that Cynthia not consume alcohol was added to the conditions of her probation after her DV arrest.

November 27, 2012: Judge David Stowe  filed suit against his ex-wife Cynthia Stowe for her allegedly taking $46,000 of his money.








Judge Stowe files lawsuit over money transfer

He says he hopes incident is 'misunderstanding'
Traverse City Record-Eagle
November 29, 2012
BY ART BUKOWSKI
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Npq_9ypgGpoJ:record-eagle.com/local/x1839361761/Judge-Stowe-files-lawsuit-over-money-transfer/print+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

TRAVERSE CITY — A local judge alleges his ex-wife took $46,000 of his money after he mistakenly put it into an account with her name on it.

Grand Traverse Probate Judge David Stowe filed a lawsuit in 13th Circuit Court on Tuesday. The suit alleges his ex-wife, Cynthia Stowe, transferred the money into her personal account after he accidentally put it in a joint account the couple used before their divorce was finalized in July.

David Stowe "for obvious reasons ... had no intention whatsoever to give defendant any of these monies nor to grant any control over or interest in such monies to defendant," the suit reads.

Cynthia Stowe later transferred $26,000 back into the account, but transferred it back out again, the suit alleges. She could not be reached for comment.

Stowe told a Record-Eagle reporter he hopes the entire incident is a "misunderstanding."

Prior to and since her divorce from David Stowe, Cynthia Stowe has had multiple run-ins with the law both here and in Florida, where she now resides.

She was on probation in Grand Traverse County this year for contempt of court and drunken driving. Local judges allowed her to move to Florida, but later issued bench warrants for her arrest after she failed to comply with probation terms.

Stowe assaulted her then-husband David Stowe in their Long Lake Township home in January. That case eventually was resolved in a plea deal that added one year of probation to her drunken driving arrest, though she violated bond and was charged with perjury after authorities said she lied in a bond violation hearing. The perjury charge was dismissed when she pleaded guilty to contempt of court.

While in Florida, she was arrested for an alleged assault on her son, though authorities didn't pursue charges.

David Stowe was elected to the probate judge post in 2000, and Cynthia Stowe — known as Cynthia Curry prior to her marriage to Stowe — is a former family court employee who worked under Stowe from 2002 to 2005.

The two began a personal relationship while they both worked in the court, and David oversaw child custody matters in Cynthia's divorce case. David Stowe subsequently fired the county's family court administrator for reporting the relationship to county officials. The county later paid a $69,000 settlement to the fired employee.

David Stowe won't run again after he completes his second six-year term in December.











Cynthia Stowe won't face charges
Judge's ex-wife was arrested Sept. 6 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
BY ART BUKOWSKI
The Record-Eagle
Wed Oct 24, 2012, 07:14 AM EDT
http://record-eagle.com/latest-mobile/x1133189635/Cynthia-Stowe-wont-face-charges

TRAVERSE CITY — A judge's ex-wife won't face a felony child abuse charge in Florida.

Cynthia Stowe, ex-wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, was arrested in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Sept. 6. Police there sought charges of felony child abuse and battery domestic violence, but authorities said they won't prosecute.

"We couldn't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt," said David C. Koenig, an assistant state attorney involved in the case.

An arrest report from Florida contains accusations Stowe assaulted two victims, 17 and 18, after she drank alcohol. She was in an argument with one of the victims about her consumption of alcohol at the time of the incident, police said.

Koenig said he believed the two victims were Stowe's sons.

Stowe's attorney in Florida, Michael Bross, didn't return a call for comment.

Stowe was on probation in Grand Traverse County for contempt of court and drunken driving. Benzie Circuit Judge James M. Batzer and 86th District Judge Thomas J. Phillips, who are handling her charges, both allowed her to move to Florida in separate July hearings.

She was ordered to continue reporting by phone to probation officers here, but Phillips and Batzer recently signed warrants for her arrest because she failed to comply with probation terms here after she moved south.

Among other problems, Stowe failed to provide results of breath tests, forged an Alcoholics Anonymous form and failed to call in to report, 86th District Court Administrator Carol Stocking said previously.

Stowe assaulted her then-husband David Stowe in their Long Lake Township home in January. That case eventually was resolved in a plea deal that added one year of probation to her drunken driving arrest, though she violated bond and was charged with perjury after authorities said she lied in a bond violation hearing.

The perjury charge was dismissed when she pleaded guilty to contempt of court. David Stowe won't run again after he completes his second six-year term in December.










Ex-wife of judge in trouble in Florida
BY ART BUKOWSKI
The Record-Eagle
Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:29 PM EDT
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2qfs87xeJgEJ:record-eagle.com/local/x1241959403/Ex-wife-of-judge-in-trouble-in-Florida+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

TRAVERSE CITY — A woman who repeatedly violated probation and bond conditions in Grand Traverse County faces more problems in Florida after local judges allowed her to move there.

Cynthia Stowe, ex-wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, was arrested in Cocoa Beach, Fla. on Sept. 6. Police there seek charges of felony child abuse and battery domestic violence, documents show, though Stowe has yet to be formally charged.

Stowe was on probation in Grand Traverse County for contempt of court and drunken diving, and Benzie Circuit Judge James M. Batzer and 86th District Judge Thomas J. Phillips, who are handling her charges, both allowed her to move to Florida in separate July hearings.

She was ordered to continue reporting by phone to probation officers here.

An arrest report from Florida indicates Stowe assaulted two victim, 17 and 18, after she drank alcohol. She was in an argument with one of the victims about her consumption of alcohol when she began the assault, police said.

Aside from her Florida troubles, both Phillips and Batzer recently signed warrants for her arrest because she failed to comply with probation terms here after she moved south.

Among other problems, Stowe failed to provide results of breath tests, forged an Alcoholics Anonymous form and failed to call in to report, 86th District Court Administrator Carol Stocking said.

Stowe assaulted her then-husband David Stowe in their Long Lake Township home in January. That case eventually was resolved in a plea deal that added one year of probation to her drunken driving arrest, though she violated bond and was charged with perjury after authorities said she lied in a bond violation hearing.

The perjury charge was dismissed when she pleaded guilty to contempt of court.

David Stowe was elected to the probate judge post in 2000, and Cynthia Stowe - known as Cynthia Curry prior to her marriage to Stowe - is a former family court employee who worked under Stowe from 2002 to 2005.

The two began a personal relationship while they both worked in the court, and David oversaw child custody matters in Cynthia's divorce case. David Stowe subsequently fired the county's family court administrator for reporting the relationship to county officials. The County later paid a $69,000 settlement to that ex-employee.

Stowe and Curry married in early 2009, and divorce this year. Stowe isn't running again for that position and will step down at the end of the year.






Local judge's wife in more trouble

June 17, 2012
The Record-Eagle
Traverse City
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:UpiCDS1AHfYJ:record-eagle.com/local/x1406730213/Local-judges-wife-in-more-trouble+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Traverse City - A local judge's wife violated probation again, authorities said.

Cynthia Stowe, wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, was arraigned Thursday on a probation violation bench warrant. She is required to avoid alcohol as part of her probation, and court officials said she failed an alcohol test.

She pleaded not guilty at the arraignment and was released on bond.

Stowe is on probation for a 2011 drunk driving conviction and a May conviction for contempt of court records show. A perjury charge was dismissed when she pleaded guilty to the contempt charge. The perjury count was issued after authorities said she lied during a previous probation violation hearing. David Stowe filed for divorce in March. he is not seeking re-election.











UPDATE: Wife of Grand Traverse County Judge Violated Probation Again
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 2:33 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 22, 2012 2:34 PM CDT
9 and 10 News
http://www.9and10news.com/story/18800630/update-wife-of-grand-traverse-county-judge-violated-probation-again

Court records show, the wife of a Grand Traverse County judge has violated her probation, again.

Cynthia is probate Judge David Stowe's wife.

Court records show she failed an alcohol breath test.

She was in court for the same violation back in April.

Last summer, Stowe was arrested for drunk driving, and last month, she admitted to assaulting her husband.

She pleaded not guilty in court yesterday.









Wife of Traverse City Judge Admits to Assaulting Husband

Posted: May 15, 2012 10:24 AM CDT
Updated: May 22, 2012 10:24 AM CDT
9 and 10 News
http://www.9and10news.com/story/18424456/wife-of-traverse-city-judge-admits-to-assaulting-husband

The wife of a Grand Traverse County judge has admitted to assaulting her husband.

Court records show that Cynthia Stowe failed an alcohol breath test back in April, violating her probation.

She's the wife of Probate Judge David Stowe. Cynthia pleaded guilty to the assault to avoid a felony charge.

Last summer she was arrested for drunk driving and in January she appeared in court for assaulting her husband.

She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, she has already served 22.

She will spend a year on probation and attend a substance abuse and mental health program.











Judge's wife takes a plea deal
BY BRIAN McGILLIVARY
The Record-Eagle
Tue May 15, 2012, 07:14 AM EDT
http://record-eagle.com/local/x227513877/Judges-wife-takes-plea-deal

TRAVERSE CITY — A judge's estranged wife pleaded guilty to assault and contempt of court in a plea deal to avoid a felony perjury charge.

Cynthia Marie Stowe, 50, appeared in 86th District Court on Monday morning and initially denied any inappropriate contact with Grand Traverse County Probate Court Judge David Stowe on the January night police were called to their Long Lake Township home. She told District Judge Thomas J. Phillips her 16-year-old son was the one pushing and shoving.

Defense attorney Craig Elhart coaxed Cynthia Stowe to acknowledge there had been physical contact between her and David Stowe during the incident.

"A textbook domestic violence case," said Special Prosecutor Charles Koop of Antrim County. "She had to acknowledge her behavior. That's very important. She never acknowledged her behavior before."

She admitted to the contempt of court charge. She tested positive for alcohol while on bond from a domestic violence charge, and testified under oath she had dinner at a restaurant with her oldest son and consumed a dessert that included alcohol. The son denied he had dined with his mother and Koop obtained evidence showing she had dinner on Valentine's Day with her husband. That violated a standard bond requirement for a domestic assault case, Koop said.

Phillips sentenced Cynthia Stowe to 30 days in jail with credit for 22 days served. She also must take part in a 90-day in-patient substance abuse and mental health treatment program and a year's probation.

"I think you need help and a lot of help," Phillips said.

Koop said allowing Stowe to plead to a misdemeanor will help her receive treatment which he said would be best for her and the community.











Cynthia Stowe's bond set at $500K
BY ART BUKOWSKI
The Record-Eagle
Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:14 AM EDT
http://record-eagle.com/local/x1914775202/Cynthia-Stowes-bond-set-at-500K

TRAVERSE CITY — A judge set a high bond for a woman charged with lying under oath.

Cynthia Marie Stowe, 50, is charged with a felony perjury count. District Judge Thomas J. Phillips set her bond at $500,000 when he arraigned her on the charge Thursday morning.

Stowe is the estranged wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe. He filed for divorce in March.

Phillips said he set a high bond because he had concerns about Cynthia Stowe's history of violating bond on other criminal matters and the seriousness of the offense, among other items.

She remained in the Grand Traverse County Jail Thursday afternoon. The bond is set to be reviewed today at 8:45 a.m.

Grand Traverse Sheriff's Department investigators said Stowe lied under oath during a Feb. 22 bond violation hearing. She was out on bond after a January domestic violence arrest, and authorities said she violated bond by drinking alcohol.

She failed an alcohol test on Feb. 14, authorities said. At the bond violation hearing, she testified she was at a dinner with her son that night and failed the alcohol test because she ate a dessert containing alcohol.

Authorities later interviewed her son, who said he wasn't at the dinner. Instead, authorities found the dinner was paid for with a credit card belonging to David Stowe. The signature on the bill matched a known signature of David Stowe, court documents show.

The domestic violence charge ultimately was dismissed as part of a plea deal.





86th District Court
April 26, 2012
Leelanau News
http://www.leelanaunews.com/news/2012-04-26/Courts/86th_District_Court.html

Cynthia M. Stowe, 50, 9524 Echo Valley Dr., Traverse City — Probation violation hearing; pleaded guilty; sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for 9 days served, balance held in abeyance; must immediately upon release from jail check into Center One and complete successfully, and then check into residential treatment and complete successfully or return to jail and wait for a bed to become available; $200 fines, $200 costs, $125 arresting agency fee.









Cynthia Stowe to be arraigned for Perjury
Charges stem from testimony at hearing
April 26, 2012
The Record-Eagle
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:7edjRWAksQYJ:record-eagle.com/local/x1199104645/Cynthia-Stowe-to-be-arraigned-for-perjury+&cd=43&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Traverse City - A local judge's wife faces a felony charge because investigators believe she lied under oath.

Cynthia Marie Stowe, 50, estranged wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, is charged with a felony count of perjury during court proceedings. Traverse City police arrested her Wednesday, and she is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. today.

The charge stems from statements she made at a Feb. 22 bond violation hearing. She was out on bond after a January domestic violence arrest, and authorities said she violated bond by drinking alcohol.

She failed an alcohol test on Feb. 14, authorities said. At the bond violation hearing, she testified she was at a dinner with her son at a restaurant at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in Thompsonville that night. Cynthia Stowe said at the hearing she failed the alcohol test because she ate a dessert containing alcohol.

Authorities later interviewed her son, who said she wasn't at the dinner. Instead authorities found the dinner was paid for with a credit car belonging to David Stowe. The signature on the bill matched a known signature of David Stowe, court documents show.

David Stowe declined comment when investigators tried to interview him, court documents show.

Antrim County Prosecutor Charles Koop - who is acting as special prosecutor - eventually dismissed the domestic violence charge against Cynthia Stowe in a plea deal that added one year probation to a September drunken driving conviction.

David Stowe couldn't be reached for comment late Wednesday. He filed for divorce in March.











Judge’s wife fails test, violates probation

April 19, 2012
Leelanau Enterprise
http://www.leelanaunews.com/news/2012-04-19/Courts/Judges_wife_fails_test_violates_probation.html

The wife of a Traverse City judge will appear today for a arraignment on a charge of violating probation on a drunk driving case in Leelanau County.

Cynthia Stowe turned herself in to the County Jail last week after allegedly failing an alcohol screening. The failed test would constitute a violation of the terms of her probation on a September drunk driving conviction in Leelanau County.

The Grand Traverse County woman assaulted her husband, Probate Court Judge David Stowe, in their home in January. That case was resolved through a plea agreement that added one year of probation on to her drunk driving arrest in Leelanau County.

Nineteenth Circuit Court Judge James Batzer of Benzie County held the hearing on the probation violation via telephone Friday afternoon. Batzer was appointed by the state court administrator’s office as the local judges all recused themselves because of their relationship with Judge Stowe, Magistrate Norene Kastys said.











Judge's wife arraigned on probation violation
The Record-Eagle
April 14, 2012
From staff reports
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Pjldgm3l10AJ:record-eagle.com/local/x333969105/Judges-wife-arraigned-on-probation-violation+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Traverse City - A local judge's wife was arraigned on a probation violation.

Cynthia Stowe turned herself in Thursday and on Friday was arraigned in 86th District Court.

Court officials said the violation was issued because she failed an alcohol test.

Stowe, wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe was on probation for a drunken driving conviction.

A probation violation hearing is set for April 19.










Judge's wife allegedly violation probation
Bench warrant issued for arrest of Cynthia Stowe
April 12, 2012
Art Bukowski
The Record-Eagle
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8IuujLfYZV4J:record-eagle.com/local/x333968864/Judges-wife-allegdly-violated-probation+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Traverse City - A local judge's wife might go back to jail after authorities said she violated probation.

Cynthia Stowe recently failed an alcohol screen, court officials said. Circuit Judge James Batzer on Monday issued a bench warrant for her arrest because a failed test constitutes a violation of her probation on a September drunken driving conviction.

Stowe, the wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, hadn't yet been arrested Wednesday afternoon.

Stowe assaulted her husband in their Long Lake Township home in January. That case was resolved in a plea deal that added one year probation on to her drunken driving arrest.

David Stowe was elected to the probate judge post in 200, and Cynthia Stowe - known as Cynthia Curry prior to her marriage to Stowe - is a former family court employee who worked under Stowe from 2002 to 2005.

The two began a relationship while they both worked in the court, and David oversaw child custody matters in Cynthia's divorce case. David Stowe subsequently fired the county's family court administrator for reporting the relationship to county officials. The county later paid a $69,000 settlement to that employee.

David Stowe filed for divorce on March 16, court records show. His term is up this year, and he previously said he won't run again.

Cynthia Stowe's attorney, Craig Elhart, declined comment.









Warrant out for arrest of judge's wife
April 11, 2012
The Record-Eagle
Art Bukowski
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:sjaWSdR3plUJ:record-eagle.com/local/x611950094/Warrant-out-for-arrest-of-judges-wife+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Travese City - A judge's wife has a warrant out for her arrest after authorities said she violated probation.

Cynthia Stowe failed an alcohol screening, and a judge issued a warrant for her arrest Monday. She hadn't been arrested as of this morning. Stowe is the wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe.

Stowe in August was arrested for drunken driving, and in January was arrested after she assaulted David Stowe at their home. A year of probation was added to her drunken driving conviction after the assault.







Police Have an Arrest Warrant Out for the Wife of a Grand Traverse County Judge
Posted: Apr 11, 2012 6:09 PM CDT
Updated: Apr 18, 2012 6:10 PM CDT
9 and 10 News
http://www.9and10news.com/story/17389068/police-have-an-arrest-warrant-out-for-the-wife-of-a-grand-traverse-county-judge

Police have an arrest warrant out for the wife of a Grand Traverse County judge.

Court records show Cynthia Stowe failed an alcohol breath test, violating her probation.

Cynthia is probate Judge David Stowe's wife.

Last summer, she was arrested for drunk driving, and in January, she was in court for assaulting her husband.

A judge added an additional year of probation following the attack.











Judge's wife released from jail

February 25, 2012
Brian McGillivary
The Record-Eagle
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:JZTVAwa2a3YJ:record-eagle.com/local/x1513923359/Judges-wife-released-from-jail+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Traverse City - Authorities dropped domestic assault charges against a local judge's wife and released her from jail after she agreed to stiffer probation requirements tied to a previous drunken-driving conviction.

Cynthia Stowe allegedly assaulted her husband, Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, on Jan 30 at their Long Lake Township home. On Friday, she agreed to an additional year of probation in a plea agreement with Special Prosecutor Charles Koop of Antrim County.

The defendant, in the people's opinion, has an alcohol problem that was not under control," Koop said. "The family was in crisis and needed some outside help. This will be addressed by the modified probation terms."

The new probation is stiffer than what's normally meted out for a first-time domestic violence conviction, Koop said. It also includes provisions for Cynthia Stowe, 50, to undergo substance abuse and domestic violence counseling and monitoring until August 2013.

Cynthia Stowe stood in court alone on Friday, dressed in jail orange and an oversized jail coat, and dabbed at tears. She spent two days in jail because she consumed alcohol, a violation of bond conditions placed on her after the domestic violence arrest.

David Stowe, in his courtroom one floor above the courtroom where his wife appeared, did not attend the hearing.

"It's a family matter and as much as I wanted to be there, it's not something I can involve myself in as a judge," David Stowe said.

Defense attorney, Craig Elhart called the plea deal a "satisfactory resolution for everyone," and said Cynthia Stowe would return home on Friday.

David Stowe and Elhart denied an assault occurred on Jan. 30.

Koop said he believes otherwise, but said it would be difficult to prove the case because David Stowe refused to cooperate with authorities and Cynthia Stowe's 16-year-old son - who called 911 that evening to report the incident - changed his story.

"These are hard cases and I didn't do this just because she is married to a judge," Koop said.

The son called 911 that evening to report his mother was drinking heavily and hitting his stepfather, David Stowe.

"She attempted to hit me," the son told the 911 dispatcher. "I blocked, and Dave has been getting in the way and she keeps hitting him across the face, like punching him hard."

"Yeah, I just had to do this," he told the dispatcher. "This has happened way too many times and it's gone too far this time."

When David Stowe discovered his stepson called 911 and deputies were on the eay, he told the boy he was leaving the house and that the teen should, as well. The boy pleaded for David Stowe to stay, according to the 911 recording the Record-Eagle obtained through a state Freedom of Information Act request.

"You can't leave," the boy said. "You have to stay, please. I need somebody to back me up, Dave."

David Stowe agreed to remain in the house after he spoke with the dispatcher.

Sheriff's deputies reported David Stowe was bleeding from scratches on his neck, but he refused to allow officers to photograph his injuries, Koop said.

The boy changed his story in a follow-up interview that didn't occur until Thursday because deputies couldn't locate him, Koop said.

"This is not uncommon in domestic violence cases where the person who is assaulted doesn't want to go forward," Koop said. "This is a good example of how domestic violence crosses all stratum. A lot of time we don't think of professional people being battered.

David Stowe said the incident provided him a sense of empathy for what others encounter in the criminal justice system, but he declined to discuss the incident.

"We all have issues in our personal life like anyone else and I'm hopeful that we respect the personal lives of people," David Stowe said.

David Stowe was elected to the probate judge post in 2000. Cynthia Stowe is a former family court employee who worked under Stowe from 2002 to 2005.

The two began a romantic relationship while she worked for him; previous to Stowe's hiring of the then-Cynthia Curry, David Stowe oversaw child custody matters in her divorce case. David Stowe and Cynthia Curry married in early 2009.

Benzie Circuit Court Judge James Batzer in September sentenced Cynthia Stowe to a day in jail and a year of probation after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle with a high blood-alcohol content.

She was arrested Aug. 6 and police reported her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the state's legal limit for intoxication.

She may yet face a probation violation hearing for that charge, and if she again violates her probation Koop can reinstate domestic violence charges.

Eighty-Sixth District Court Judge Michael Haley brokered Friday's plea deal through a phone conference with Batzer, but the deal doesn't take effect until Batzer signs the modified probation terms.









Judge's wife violates bond, goes to jail
February 23, 2012
Art Bukowski
The Record-Eagle
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Eu2Baf62i7IJ:record-eagle.com/local/x1222572165/Judges-wife-violates-bond-goes-to-jail+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Traverse City - A local judge's wife went to jail after authorities said she violated her bond on a domestic violence arrest.

Cynthia Stowe, wife of Probate Judge David Stowe, tested positive for alcohol consumption on two separate breath test this month, authorities said. Bond set after a Jan. 30 domestic violence arrest required her to periodically blow into a home testing device.

Her bond included a provision that she not consume alcohol, among several other restrictions.

District Judge Michael Haley on Wednesday revoked Stowe's bond and sent her to jail pending the outcome of the domestic violence charge. She also was arraigned on that charge Wednesday.

Grand Traverse County Sheriff's deputies arrested Stowe after a January altercation at the Long Lake Township home where she lived with David Stowe. her son called police to say she had assaulted David Stowe, police said.

Defense attorney Craig Elhart on Wednesday asked for a hearing on the alleged bond violations. Cynthia Stowe, 50, blamed the failure of the alcohol tests on a dessert that contained rum and a medication given after a dental appointment. Haley wasn't sympathetic.

"That's just inane to offer that as an excuse," he said, of the rum dessert explanation.

David Stowe was elected to the probate judge post in 2000. Cynthia Stowe - known as Cynthia Curry prior to her marriage to Stowe - is a former family court employee who worked under Stowe from 2002 to 2005.

The two began a relationship while they both worked in the court, and David oversaw child custody matters in Cynthia's divorce case. David subsequently fired the county's family court administrator for reporting the relationship to county officials. The county later paid a $69,000 settlement to that ex-employee.

David and Cynthia married in early 2009.

A Benzie Circuit judge in September sentenced Cynthia Stowe to a day in jail and a year probation after she pleaded guily to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle with a high-blood alcohol count.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Officer Kenneth Bluew - Appeal

Also See:

Jennifer Webb murder:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/murder-of-jennifer-webb-august-31-2011.html

Officer Kenneth Bluew arrested for Jennifer Webb's murder: http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-ken-bluew-arrested-for-murder_30.html

Jennifer Webb murder case:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-ken-bluew-webb-murder-case.html

Officer Bluew trial for murder of Jennifer Webb:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-bluew-trial-for-murder-of.html

Officer Bluew sentenced to life in prision for murdering Jennifer Webb: http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-bluew-sentenced-for-murder-of.html



AUGUST 12, 2014:  Kenneth Bluew's conviction for the murder of Jennifer Webb was upheld by the Michigan Court Of Appeals.





News articles are below the Appeal Court documents



  






































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Ex-cop Ken Bluew's murder conviction upheld; court says evidence he strangled pregnant Jennifer Webb 'overwhelming'
By: Andy Hoag
MLive
August 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Updated August 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2014/08/ken_bluews_murder_conviction_u.html



LANSING, MI — The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Kenneth T. Bluew, a former Buena Vista police officer who strangled a woman eight months pregnant with his son.

One week after hearing oral arguments in Lansing on Bluew's appeal, appellate judges Henry William Saad, Donald S. Owens, and Kirsten Frank Kelly on Tuesday, Aug. 12, unanimously upheld Bluew's conviction for the Aug. 30, 2011, first-degree premeditated murder of Jennifer Webb, for which Bluew is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bluew's case still is headed back to Saginaw County Circuit Court, though, because the appellate judges want Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson to articulate further his justification for greatly exceeding Bluew's state sentencing guidelines for his conviction for assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo. On that charge, Jackson added nearly 50 years to Bluew's sentence.



Bluew's appeal of his murder conviction hinged on his claim that his trial attorney, Rod O'Farrell, was ineffective because O'Farrell did not call expert witnesses to dispute the testimony of Saginaw County Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kanu Virani, then the county's medical examiner, who ruled Webb's death a homicide by carotid neck compression through the use of a choke hold and not a suicide by strangulation.

The appellate judges, while noting the high standard required to prove ineffective counsel, ruled the cause of Webb's death was immaterial based on the "overwhelming" evidence against Bluew.

"Although the affidavits of (the experts proposed by Bluew on appeal) may raise a question as to whether the victim died from hanging as opposed to a chokehold, they do not raise any reasonable question as to whether (Bluew) killed the victim in light of the overwhelming evidence of guilt presented at trial," the judges wrote.

Some of the evidence included Bluew's DNA matching blood stains both on her person and in and around Webb's Pontiac Aztek found at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township. That evidence "would not have been found if (Bluew) was simply present at the scene to investigate the crime as part of his duties as a police officer," the judges wrote.

Prosecutors at trial said Bluew, who was married but not to Webb, met in a secluded area, where Bluew strangled her. Bluew then made it appear as if she committed suicide and was at the scene when other officers arrived to investigate, prosecutors said.

"In the end, the means by which the victim died is immaterial where there is overwhelming evidence that (Bluew) killed the victim by means of a violent assault," the appellate judges wrote.

Bluew can appeal the judges' ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court, which has the option of hearing Bluew's case. If the state Supreme Court were to deny Bluew's request, he then could proceed with a federal appeal.

Among the "overwhelming" evidence against Bluew also was his denying that he had sex with Webb until Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Allan Ogg, now retired, and Jason Teddy, now a lieutenant, asked to swab his inner cheek to obtain a DNA sample; his and only his fingerprints being on a typed suicide note found in Webb's purse; his blood and Webb's saliva being on the inside and outside, respectively, of a piece of latex glove found at the scene; and his right index fingerprint being on the suicide note prior to Bluew receiving an injury to the finger that caused him to leave a bloody fingerprint on Webb's vehicle's door.



In handing down the sentence for the fetus charge, and also denying Bluew a new trial, Jackson cited the "overwhelming" evidence when he exceeded Bluew's sentencing guidelines by nearly 50 years and sentenced him to 65 to 100 years in prison.

When judges exceed the guidelines, they must state one or more "substantial and compelling" reasons for doing so, and Jackson said Bluew "committed what accounts to first-degree premeditated murder of the baby."

"I understand you weren't charged with first-degree premeditated murder ... because of statutory interpretation," Jackson said. "But I still believe that's what you're guilty of."

In their ruling, the appellate judges stated Jackson's reference to Bluew's actions being "plotted and planned" is a factor that is not taken into account in the variables that make up the guidelines for the fetus charge. The judges added, however, that Jackson "did not justify" such a great departure from the guidelines.

"Although we could speculate that the trial court's sentence of 65 to 100 years' imprisonment was meant to reflect a life sentence for the first-degree premeditated murder of the unborn child, where it is not clear why the trial court made a particular departure, we cannot substitute our judgment about why the departure was justified," the judges wrote.

Such a sentence as the one Bluew received "would fall only within the appropriate guideline range of someone who committed a similar crime" but had a much more extensive criminal history that Bluew lacked, the judges wrote. The Michigan Supreme Court has suggested that when a defendant has no criminal history, a 15-year departure "may be disproportionate," the judges added.

"Because we cannot clearly determine why the trial court selected a minimum sentence that greatly exceeded the appropriate guidelines range," the judges concluded, "we must vacate (Bluew's) sentence ... and remand the case to the trial court to explain why the sentence ... is more proportionate to the offense and the offender ... or to resentence the defendant."

The resentencing does not affect Bluew's sentence of life in prison without parole for Webb's murder.

Circuit Court officials had yet to set a resentencing date for Bluew, who was fired from the Buena Vista Police Department after his conviction and remains lodged at the Alger Correctional Facility in Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
















Ken Bluew timeline: From Jennifer Webb's death to murder conviction appeal
By: Andy Hoag
MLive
August 08, 2014 at 11:25 AM 

SAGINAW, MI — Three years ago in early August, the names Jennifer Webb and Kenneth Bluew did not mean what they do today.

Webb was a 32-year-old expectant mother working in customer service at P.F. Markey, and Bluew was in his second stint as a police officer with the Buena Vista Police Department.

But Webb was carrying Bluew's son, and while some of Webb's family and friends knew that, Bluew's wife and family did not.

By the end of that August, investigators were beginning to link Bluew to the death of Webb, whose body was found late Aug. 30, 2011, at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township. Her body was found hanging by an extension cord from her Pontiac Aztek after an apparent suicide that prosecutors said Bluew staged after strangling her.

Prosecutors soon charged Bluew with first-degree murder, and a jury more than a year later convicted him, sending him to prison for the rest of his life.

Below is an interactive timeline that depicts the events that began with Webb's death and concluded, for now, with Bluew's appeal hearing.


































































































































Michigan Court of Appeals hears Ken Bluew's appeal as Jennifer Webb's family learns to cope
By: Andy Hoag
MLive
August 08, 2014 at 7:15 AM
Updated August 08, 2014 at 8:55 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2014/08/michigan_court_of_appeals_hear.html

LANSING, MI — Nearly three years have passed since Jennifer Webb died at the hands of Kenneth T. Bluew, an on-duty Buena Vista police officer and the father of the son Webb carried.

Family and friends of the 32-year-old expectant mother have shared a meal on the Aug. 30 anniversary of her death and her birthday, April 12, each year.

They will not continue the tradition for the day of her death anymore.

"Her birthday is more of a happy time, and (if) we go on the third anniversary (of the murder), it brings it all freshly back, and everybody's sad," says her sister, Angie Webb. "I still have trouble — baby showers for friends, if it's a boy, I can't do it yet. It's hard."

For Webb and her parents, Don and Dawn Webb, "Jenny" was at the forefront of their minds this week when a reporter told them that Bluew is seeking a new trial.

Bluew's new attorney on Tuesday, Aug. 5, argued for a retrial before the Michigan Court of Appeals in Lansing.

Bluew, 39, is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the first-degree premeditated murder of Webb, who was going to name their son Braxton. Webb died late Aug. 30, 2011, at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township.


Her body was found hanging by an extension cord from her Pontiac Aztek after an apparent suicide that prosecutors said Bluew staged after strangling her.

The prosecution's contention was based on what Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson labeled as "overwhelming" evidence that included the testimony of county Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kanu Virani, then the county's medical examiner, who ruled Webb's death a homicide by carotid neck compression through the use of a choke hold and not a suicide by strangulation.

Bluew's appellate attorney, Christine DuBois, focused her appeal on Virani's determination and what she said Bluew's trial attorney, Rod O'Farrell, should have done to dispute it. DuBois argued Bluew had ineffective counsel because O'Farrell did not call expert witnesses, namely a forensic pathologist and someone involved with pressure point control tactics to refute Virani's testimony.

DuBois and county Assistant Prosecutor Randy Price delivered brief arguments Tuesday that supplemented written arguments filed months ago. The appellate court, as is usually the case, did not rule on the appeal Tuesday and will do so later in a written opinion.


Not forgotten
As they await a decision, Webb's family, who did not attend Tuesday's hearing, continues to both endure Jenny's death while also honoring her life.

A memorial to her and Braxton remains at the location of her death, and the Webbs constructed a memorial garden in her honor at their home in Bridgeport Township. They also have provided memorial gardens to the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square in Saginaw and the Bridgeport Historical Society.

"When someone who you love like that is killed, you just don't want them to be forgotten," her mother says.

As is the case with most deaths of a loved one, some days are better than others, Webb's sister adds.

"The bad days don't come quite as often as they used to," Angie says, "but there's still some days when it hits you, and it's just a bad day. You don't want anybody to talk to you. You don't want nothing."

And the process of learning to cope with those bad days isn't complete, if it ever will be.

"It's still an ongoing hardship for everybody," Don says. "You don't forget about it. She's not here to live life with us."

Close call?
While whether appellate judges Henry William Saad, Donald S. Owens and Kirsten Frank Kelly have a hard decision ahead of them will lie within their ruling, oral argument hearings such as the one Tuesday generally shed some insight into how the judges are leaning in their decision.

Rather than allow the attorneys to regurgitate written arguments, the judges ask the attorneys to address and expound on specific points of what they wrote.

Bluew's Oakland County attorney, DuBois, began with her argument regarding Virani and the expert witnesses she thought O'Farrell should have called on Bluew's behalf. If the jurors had heard from those witnesses, DuBois argued, they "likely would have found reasonable doubt in the manner and cause of death."

It was not long, though, before Judge Kelly interrupted DuBois.

"The evidence was pretty overwhelming," Kelly said. "Are you saying this is a close call? ... He was there and caused the death."


DuBois said the trial was "polluted" by testimony regarding a pressure point control tactics instruction manual found in Bluew's vehicle. The manual does not teach the lateral vascular neck restraint, which Virani demonstrated to the jury by applying it to then-Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas, DuBois said. 

A pressure point control tactics instructor from whom DuBois obtained a sworn affidavit stated Virani's findings on Webb's injuries were not consistent with the use of the restraint Virani demonstrated, DuBois wrote in her appeal.

DuBois also obtained a sworn affidavit from Wayne County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Carl J. Schmidt, who stated "not only that there was an incomplete evaluation of Webb's injuries during the autopsy but significant inaccuracies in Dr. Virani's findings."

Price, the prosecutor, said that prior to the trial beginning, O'Farrell consulted with two expert witnesses and listed them as potential witnesses. O'Farrell ultimately decided against calling those witnesses to testify, Price said, making his decision simply "trial strategy" rather than ineffective counsel.

"There was no denial of a substantial defense in this matter," Price said, noting a standard used to determine ineffective counsel.

Price was brief with his argument on that issue, and the judges did not probe him further on it. They did, however, ask him about Circuit Judge Jackson's decision to sentence Bluew to 65 to 100 years in prison for assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo.

In doing so, Jackson exceeded Bluew's state sentencing guidelines by nearly 50 years. When judges exceed the guidelines, they must state "substantial and compelling" reasons for doing so, and Jackson said Bluew "committed what accounts to first-degree premeditated murder of the baby."


"I understand you weren't charged with first-degree premeditated murder ... because of statutory interpretation," Jackson said. "But I still believe that's what you're guilty of."

Appellate Judge Owens questioned the enhancement, noting the charge itself, and the sentencing guideline enhancements that go along with it, reflects the seriousness of the crime. Owens also compared the killing of a fetus or embryo to abortion, which he noted is legal.

If the appellate judges rule Jackson's reasons for departing from the guidelines were not "substantial and compelling," they could remand the case back to him for re-sentencing. The sentence Jackson hands down still could prove moot if Bluew's appeal on the murder charge fails.

Among the "overwhelming" evidence against Bluew was his denying that he had sex with Webb until Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Allan Ogg, now retired, and Jason Teddy, now a lieutenant, asked to swab his inner cheek to obtain a DNA sample; his and only his fingerprints being on a typed suicide note found in Webb's purse; his blood on the inside and Webb's saliva on the outside of a piece of latex glove found at the scene; and his right index fingerprint being on the suicide note prior to Bluew receiving an injury to the finger that caused him to leave a bloody fingerprint on Webb's vehicle door.

Judge Jackson said Bluew "left so much evidence at the scene that we could have tried this case anywhere on the planet" and it still would have resulted in a conviction.

Bluew, who was fired from the Buena Vista Police Department after his conviction, remains lodged at the Alger Correctional Facility in Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
— Andy Hoag covers courts for MLive/The Saginaw News. 














August 05, 2014:







Jennifer Webb's family 'upset' after prosecutors don't inform them of Ken Bluew appeal hearing
By: Andy Hoag
MLive
August 06, 2014 at 4:46 PM 


SAGINAW, MI — An appellate attorney for Kenneth T. Bluew, the former Buena Vista police officer convicted of murdering the woman who was eight months pregnant with his son, argued for a new trial Tuesday, Aug. 5, before the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The family of the victim, Jennifer Webb, did not know about the hearing, an oversight for which prosecutors have apologized.

The Saginaw News on Tuesday informed the Webb family — Don and Dawn Webb and Jennifer "Jenny" Webb's sister, Angie Webb — of the hearing after listening to oral arguments on the case at the Court of Appeals in Lansing.

While the appellate court has yet to make a ruling on the case, the Webbs were not happy they did not find out about the appeal from the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.

"I'm a little upset that we weren't notified," Don Webb told The Saginaw News. "That was supposedly part of what we were told at the time, if anything comes up concerning him, then we would be contacted and notified of it."

A recent personnel change in the prosecutor's office resulted in the failure to notify the Webbs, officials there said. A secretary who handles appeals paperwork left the office, according to county Prosecutor John McColgan Jr. and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Boyd. That secretary would inform the office's victims right advocate of upcoming appeal hearings, and the outgoing secretary did not tell her replacement about that duty, the prosecutors said.

Family members of Bluew, who is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree premeditated murder of Webb, attended Tuesday's hearing.

County Assistant Prosecutor Randy Price, who argued the case Tuesday in Lansing, spoke to the Webbs on Wednesday and apologized for the error, Boyd said. Price informed the Webbs that the prosecutor's office intends to never have that mistake happen again, McColgan and Boyd said.

Bluew's appellate attorney argued Bluew should receive a new trial because Bluew's trial attorney, Rod O'Farrell, did not call expert witnesses who would dispute the prosecution's theory of how Bluew killed Webb late Aug. 30, 2011, at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township.

Webb's body was found hanging by an extension cord from her Pontiac Aztek after an apparent suicide that prosecutors said Bluew, who was on duty, staged after strangling her.

Bluew was fired from the Buena Vista Police Department after his conviction. He remains lodged at the Alger Correctional Facility in Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.