Arsonist receives up to 15 years in prison

June 19, 2013

BraultLUDINGTON – Marshall Jennings Brault, 20, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for arson Tuesday afternoon in 51st Circuit Court. Brault, of 606 N. Gaylord Ave., along with Travis Malone, burned down the house at the corner of William and Pere Marquette streets on Oct. 17, 2012, along with a garage at 407 N. Robert St.

Brault was also involved with stealing a truck and breaking and entering in the Wishing Well convenience store in Pentwater.

Brault has a long history of criminal activity, including felonious assault and breaking and entering. Because of those previous offenses he was sentenced as a habitual offender.

Brault’s attorney, David Becker, asked Judge Richard Cooper to consider leniency, describing Brault as a “perfect citizen” when he is not on drugs or alcohol. “When drinking and on drugs he is a problem citizen,” Becker said. “His father has been following this case and hired me… (his parents) are generally good parents.”

Brault told Judge Cooper that he knows he has made mistakes.

“What I did is wrong, I’m not denying it. I know I committed the crime. I was on alcohol and drugs at the time. Everybody makes mistakes a time or two in their life. I am going to use this as a lesson and use this to be a better person for me and my family, for my kids and I. It has been a real eye opening experience for me. No matter how much time you give me I am going to do it as a man and I am going to come out better and smarter. I can only move on and make a better future.”

Judge Cooper said he appreciated Brault’s desire to be a better person but was was disturbed by his long criminal history.

Just prior to the October 17, 2012 crime spree, a warrant had been issued for Brault for violating the terms of his probation. He had been on probation for a cocain possession conviction and was failed to report to his probation officer beginning August 2012. For that violation, he received 2 years, 8 months to 4 years in prison.

“This court is highly bothered by the situation that the defendant was on probation at the time that this crime happened,” Cooper said. “Probation is a time when somebody is being expected to be on their best behavior. There can be slip ups but this case does not involve an insignificant slip-up. Instead two persons over a period of time involved themselves with three different structures, all three in a residential area.

“I do not accept that you have finally seen the light,” Cooper said.

Brault also received 2 to 3 years for joy riding. He had originally been charged with larceny of a vehicle but agreed to a plea of joy riding because Malone was the actual driver of the stolen truck.

His partner in crime, Travis Malone, 407 N. Robert St., plead guilty June 4 for two counts of arson and for larceny of a vehicle. He will be sentenced July 16 at 2 p.m. Brault and Malone have both plead guilty in Oceana County for thier connection to the Oct. 21, 2012 breaking and entering of the Wishing Well.

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