Plainwell man sentenced for stealing from church.

December 16, 2014
Marek Witkowski, left, with his court appointed attorney David Glancy.

Marek Witkowski, left, with his court appointed attorney David Glancy.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A 17-year-old Plainwell man who broke into a downtown Ludington church was sentenced to one year in jail today during 51st Circuit Court.

On Nov. 12, Marek Juergen Witkowski, of 633 Brigham, Plainwell, pleaded guilty to safe breaking and larceny of Greater Life Church, 208 S. James St. Witkowski was arrested Sept. 26 by Ludington Police Dept. Safe breaking is punishable by a maximum of life in prison while larceny of a building is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Witkowski told the court he was cleaning Greater Life Church (now known as Radiant Church and located on South Washington Ave.) when he decided to break into the safe. He said he knew where the key to the safe was kept and he took about $500. He then deposited the money into his bank account and spent it.

“What is concerning in this case is that the defendant has stolen from a church previously in Kalamazoo County and is serving probation for that offense,” Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said. “What is even more troubling is that he has maintained a connection with the same church members and committed a similar or virtually identical offense as he did in Kalamazoo County.”

Witkowski told Judge Richard Cooper that he has been counseling with Pastor Jerry Theis of Radiant Church. “He’s talked to me a lot about self forgiveness,” Witkowski said.

Witkowski was offered a plea agreement by the prosecution to 11 months of jail, spending the first 90 days up front and the remainder at the court’s discretion, and paying restitution to the church for $1,230.91. He received credit for 80 days served and is on two years probation. He must also not come within 500 feet of Radiant Church. However, that may change by permission of the pastor.

Area Churches


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