Man who shot Ludington police officer to be sentenced today

January 14, 2014
Lowell Fetters

Lowell Fetters

LUDINGTON — The 65-year-old Ludington man who shot Ludington Police Sgt. David Maltbie will be sentenced this afternoon in 51st Circuit Court. On November 27, Lowell Fetters entered a no contest plea. He originally faced 32 counts stemming from a June 27, 2012 incident at his home, including shooting Sgt. Maltbie. A no contest plea is considered by the court as a no guilty plea.

In exchange for pleading no contest, the prosecutor dropped all charges with the exception of six of the counts. Those counts include assault to commit murder against Sgt. Maltbie, felony firearms, and felonious assault on Ludington police officers Aaron Sailor and Jason Smith and Mason County Sheriff’s Sgt. Oscar Davila and Dep. Derrek Wilson and malicious destruction of police property.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola is recommending sentencing of 13 years to 20 years, he would be eligible for parole after 15 years. When asked by Judge Richard Cooper if he agreed with the terms of the plea offer, Fetters responded: “I guess I’m going to have to go with it.”

Defense attorney David Glancy said the reason for the no contest plea was that Lowell did not recall all of the events of that day.

As part of a no contest plea, the judge has the right to use other sources, besides court testimony, to determine sentencing. Judge Cooper read police reports filed by Maltbie, Sailor, Smith, Davila and Wilson.

Fetters’ family would like to see him get mental treatment rather than prison time (See related story). A psychiatric examination from Dr. Steven Miller of Gross Ille, determined that Lowell suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome and episodic depression stemming from his tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s. Gerry Fetters said his dad rarely discussed the war but had a short temper. The diagnoses are considered major mental health disorders, according to an examiner’s report. However, the level of mental illness would not fall under the category of being legally insane.

Part of Fetters’ plea includes a stipulation for mental illness.

Sentencing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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