State Roundup

Grand Rapids

Ex-worker gets life for killing Ke nt County farmer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his former boss, a Kent County farmer.

A jury last month found Socorro "Coco" Hurtado-Garcia guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of 50-year-old Ed Rasch of Alpine Township.

The 57-year-old Hurtado-Garcia was sentenced on Tuesday.

Rasch was shot once in the chest with a .38-caliber handgun as the farmer delivered paychecks to his staff in February 2010.

After the shooting inside the workers' winter quarters, Hurtado-Garcia taunted Rasch, standing over him and asking if he "wanted another."

Hurtado-Garcia had been laid off from his job two months earlier.

The victim's sister-in-law, Julie Rasch, told Hurtado-Garcia in court he was "not a man."

Mount Clemens

Man to be sentenced in deaths of woman, son

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) -- A man who shot and killed his fiancée and fatally stabbed her 3-year-old son faces sentencing in Macomb County Circuit Court.

A jury found Todd Pink guilty of first-degree murder last month in the deaths of 35-year-old Carrie Seils and her son, Skyler.

Authorities say the 38-year-old Clinton Township resident also stabbed Seils' then-5-year-old daughter, Heavyn, and shot another man a year ago.

Judge Richard Caretti sentenced Pink to life in prison without parole on Wednesday.

Mount Clemens

Ex-MySpace taun ter pleads guilty to 2 felonies

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) -- A man who taunted police with a posting of "Catch me if you can" on MySpace four years ago has pleaded guilty to two felonies in Macomb County.

Jordan Danski pleaded guilty on Tuesday to arson of property and larceny in a building. Police say the 20-year-old bombed the car of his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend and stole jewelry from a friend's mother.

Danski fled from county Juvenile Home authorities twice as a teenager. In 2007, he wrote on MySpace, "Catch me if you can" and "2 fast for the feds to cocky for the cops."

Betty Danski tells The Macomb Daily her grandson had been making progress during the past few years.

Danski was released from the juvenile justice system in 2009.

He's to be sentenced next month.

Bay City

Man pleads no contest in killing of Bay City woman

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A man imprisoned for another murder has pleaded no contest in the killing of a Bay City woman.

Patrick Martin made the plea Tuesday to first-degree murder. A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

The 40-year-old Saginaw man is accused of beating Debra Kukla to death in her garage nearly two years ago.

Robbie Kukla tells The Bay City Times he's glad Martin took responsibility for his ex-wife's death.

Martin had been dating the 44-year-old Kukla at the time of the slaying.

A Saginaw County jury convicted Martin in February of first-degree murder in a 2002 killing.

Martin was sentenced to life in prison without parole on March 23. He was charged in Bay County the next day with Kukla's death.


Ex-hockey coach challenges sentence from prison

DETROIT (AP) -- A disgraced former Michigan high school hockey coach is asking a judge to throw out his prison sentence, saying the government had no right to prosecute him for creating child pornography.

Robert Bopp says nothing entered interstate commerce. His handwritten document in Detroit federal court was sent from federal prison in Marion, Ill. Prosecutors this week were ordered to respond.

Bopp led the Grosse Pointe South hockey team to the 2007 championship game. In 2009, he was charged in state and federal courts with crimes linked to having sex with a drug-addicted boy at his Taylor home. It was also revealed that Bopp secretly videotaped players in the Blue Devils locker room.

Bopp is serving a 22-year federal sentence at the same time as a 17 1/2-year state sentence.

Allendale Twp.

Police probe eBay posting to sell Mich. toddler

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities say a western Michigan woman offered a 2-year-old relative for sale on eBay and accepted a man's tongue-in-cheek bid.

The Holland Sentinel says police located the woman in Ottawa County's Allendale Township, about 15 miles west of Grand Rapids. The woman had been caring for the child. The girl is now in her mother's custody.

Nineteen-year-old Autumn Braden tells The Grand Rapids Press she did it to "see how eBay worked" and it "wasn't meant to be taken seriously."

Ottawa County sheriff's Lt. Mark Bennett says police received calls about the Internet posting Monday from as far away as California.

Bennett says one bidder who thought it was a hoax called police when the bid was accepted and helped lead them to the woman.

Bath Township

Police: Officer shoots, kills man who held sword

BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities say a police officer shot and killed a 49-year-old man who came at him with a sword.

Clinton County sheriff's Sgt. Fritz Sandberg told reporters Tuesday that a Bath Township resident called Monday evening to report a man was beating a woman in an apartment parking lot.

Sandberg says Leon R. Jones ran into an apartment, then re-emerged wielding a 16-inch, double-edged sword.

The sergeant says Officer Mike Lapham warned Jones several times to stop and drop the sword, but Jones refused.

Sandberg says Lapham shot Jones three times, killing him.

Township police Chief Scott Rose says his officer "acted appropriately." A sheriff's department investigation continues.

The Lansing State Journal says Jones and his wife moved into the apartment about a month. It's about 10 miles northeast of Lansing.


Doctors convicted of rape could lose Mich. license

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Health care professionals convicted of certain criminal sexual conduct offenses could permanently lose their licenses under legislation approved by the Michigan House.

The three-bill package passed the House by 108-0 votes Tuesday. The measures next go to the Senate, which is considering similar legislation.

The bills would allow the permanent revocation of a license or registration for a health professional convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the first, second or third degrees. The permanent license loss would come in cases where the offender was practicing within the health profession, such as cases involving patients.

Current Michigan law allows offenders to reapply for licenses after five years.

Supporters say the proposal is designed to protect people from medical professionals who have previously victimized patients.

Published: Thu, May 19, 2011