McCallum pleads guilty

May 14, 2013

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By Rob Alway
Editor-in-Chief

LUDINGTON — Mark McCallum of Hamlin Township agreed to a plea agreement today in 51st Circuit Court.

In April, McCallum received 28 months to 15 years in prison for custodial interference in connection to the February 2012 abduction of his children. During the time he took his children, McCallum was going through a divorce with his wife, Sharon Kludy. Against the order of probate court, he did not return the children following a weekend visitation.

McCallum, 52, was also charged with embezzlement, auto theft and larceny in connection to the 2012 incident in which he took his two children from Ludington, allegedly stole a vehicle and various items and drove to Key West, Fla. McCallum was a caretaker for several cottage owners.

The vehicle, owned by Don Janish was a 2007 Chevy Tahoo. The first embezzlement charge stems from the stealing of that vehicle. The second charge stems from stealing valuables such as sterling silver, a decorative plate and jewelry taken from Dick and Allison Puffer of Hamlin Township.

McCallum represented himself during the February 2013 trial. In March he turned down a plea agreement from Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. He was scheduled for a trial next week, but apparently changed his mind.

Like the custodial interference trial, today’s hearing lingered. McCallum first appeared in court at 11 a.m. He spent over two hours reviewing the plea. When finally appearing in court around noon, he decided he needed more time to review the terms.

Judge Cooper adjourned the hearing around 1 p.m. so McCallum could review the terms again with his attorney. His hearing started again at 5:50 p.m. and McCallum had finally agreed to the plea.

After McCallum said he had nothing else to say when Judge Richard Cooper asked him if he planned to continue to represent himself like he did in the previous case, Cooper appointed defense attorney David Glancy as McCallum’s legal counsel, citing precedence that allowed him to make that decision.

Later, he did thank Glancy for his services. “I’m very grateful that he helped me out this far,” he said.

McCallum pleaded guilty to embezzlement of more than $20,000 but less than $50,000, habitual offender third offense. The maximum penalty is 20 years in confinement plus $15,000 or three times the amount of embezzled, whichever is greater. One of the charges of larceny was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

He also pleaded guilty to embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, habitual offender third offense. That charge is up to 10 years in prison plus a fine up to $10,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater.

A charge of home invasion was dismissed but McCallum will still have to pay restitution to the victim of $12,450.

The sentences are expected to run concurrent with each other and also with the custodial interference sentence.

McCallum has numerous previous convictions, mostly in Ottawa and Kent counties starting in 1979. The offenses include burglary, larceny, assault with a dangerous weapon, breaking without entering and retail fraud first degree.

McCallum said a psychologist told him that he was unable to determine the difference between right and wrong because of his father.

Since his previous sentencing, McCallum has been incarcerated at Jackson State Prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 4 at 3:15 p.m.

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