Ludington man sent to prison for attempted armed robbery.

October 30, 2018

Derek Routley

Ludington man sent to prison for attempted armed robbery.

#MasonCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

LUDINGTON — A 29-year-old Ludington man was sentenced to 15 months to five years in prison for a conviction of attempted armed robbery Tuesday, Oct. 30, in 51st Circuit Court.

Derek Routley, who owned Routley’s Transit and Transportation, pulled a pistol on 17-year-old Jarod Tyler Smith after Smith attempted to use counterfeit bills to pay for marijuana he was buying from Routley. The incident occurred last April at the Stearns Park Beach in the City of Ludington, according to Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. Police said the pair planned the marijuana deal, and when Routley discovered the money was counterfeit, he pulled the pistol on Smith and demanded he give him the marijuana back.

“He was attempting to collect a drug debt from another individual at the Ludington beach,” said Spaniola, adding that he was concerned about the public location where the incident occurred.

Smith had attempted to pass $200 in counterfeit $20 bills at Northside Market in Pere Marquette Township a few days prior to the attempted armed robbery incident.

Smith was sentenced last August to serve 40 days up front of a one-year discretionary jail term for a felony conviction of publishing counterfeit money.

Before the incident, the prosecutor said he was pleased to hear that Routley had started a taxi service. Spaniola said he has known the defendant since he was a young boy and that his “family history and upbringing” are the worst in his 30-year history that he has dealt with as an attorney and prosecutor.

“He was running his own business and has done well for himself considering his background,” he said.

Routley asked Judge Susan K. Sniegowski for a jail term as opposed to prison.

“This whole thing started out as a robbery at Northside Market by Jarod Smith,” he said. “There was never no gun found in this case — the victim lied. No money or material exchanged hands.”

Routley pleaded “no contest” to the lesser charge, which carries a five-year maximum prison term. His original charge carries a maximum term of life in prison. He has been lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $75,000/cash/surety bond since his arrest last April.

“Things could have definitely went a lot better,” he said. “People could have acted better, including myself.”

“This was the benefit of a bargain from a life offense to a five-year offense,” Sniegowski said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to go from a robbery with a gun down to a jail sentence.”

“I actually provided a public service to two different counties,” said Routley whose taxi service served Oceana and Mason counties.

Routley said he began working with local law enforcement to start a program to help domestic violence victims shortly after launching his business.

The judge gave Routley credit for 192 days served in jail.

He has one prior felony conviction and three misdemeanors. See related story.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are five to 23 months, said Judge Sniegowski.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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