Man sent to jail for canoe livery break-in.

March 5, 2019

Garth Lemere with his attorney Becky Lederer.

Man sent to jail for canoe livery break-in.

#MasonCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 20-year-old Scottville man was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, March 5, to serve four months up front of a nine-month discretionary jail term for breaking into the River Run Canoe Livery in Scottville last July.

Garth Allen Lemere, Jr., of 203 S. Crowley St., burst into tears after Judge Susan K. Sniegowski handed down the sentence and ordered that he immediately go to jail. His attorney Becky Lederer requested that Lemere be sentenced under the terms of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, but the judge denied it.

HYTA allows defendants under the age of 24 with a minimal criminal record to withdraw their plea to a felony and plead to a misdemeanor if they abide by the terms of probation. HYTA cases are also non-public.

“He suffers from homelessness,” Lederer said, and had been “hanging around a crowd of people who were bad influences. Homelessness is a major problem impeding him.”

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola opposed the HYTA request. “He was given HYTA on two previous occasions. He twice had the benefit of HYTA and neglected to change his conduct,” Spaniola said.

“When the prosecutor told me he was not for HYTA, I totally understood why,” Lemere said. But he asked the judge to consider it nonetheless. “I would use it to better myself,” said Lemere, adding that he that he now surrounds himself with supportive people who would prevent him from doing something “stupid.”

Sniegowski noted that Lemere never apologized to the livery owners during his statement in court. “There was not a single comment about these people who took you in.

“You’re homeless, because you don’t have a job and can’t keep one. I am not giving you HYTA again,” she said.

Lemere previously testified that he and two other suspects broke into the canoe livery last July.

“We had someone go through the back window, and he unlocked the front door,” he said. “We stole cash out of the register.”

Lemere pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building with intent last January.

Carrie Ann Carr, 38, of 116 E. Second St., Scottville, is a co-defendant in the case. Carr pleaded “no contest” to the same charge as Lemere last month. She faces serving 90 days up front of a one-year discretionary jail term and is scheduled for sentencing April 2 at 1:30 p.m.

The third suspect was 14 years old at the time of the incident, and his case was referred to juvenile court.

Over $600 in cash and a credit card were stolen, according to the Scottville Police Department. The building was occupied at the time by an employee who was sleeping in a separate room. Lemere was a former employee of the business.

In exchange for Lemere’s plea to the breaking and entering charge, one felony count of larceny in a building was dismissed. He was also sentenced to 18 months probation.

Breaking and entering a building is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, 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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