Sentencing of Victory Twp. man facing prison adjourned

September 22, 2015

Gary Rial with his attorney, Douglas Stevenson.

By Allison Scarbrough. Contributing Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 63-year-old Victory Township man who is looking at a 16-month to 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 51st Circuit Court last month to felony firearm possession and fourth-offense habitual offender will have to wait another month find out his fate.

Gary Edwin Rial, of 7065 N. Dennis Rd., has a long rap sheet, dating back to the early 1970s, which includes convictions of vulnerable adult abuse; attempted larceny; receiving and concealing stolen property; and attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said previously.

Rial’s attorney, Douglas Stevenson, questioned whether his client had an attorney represent him for his older cases. “Mr. Rial is a 63-year-old individual,” said Stevenson. “The problem with all of these, there is no indication if there was an attorney present. I seriously doubt if the records are still available. He doesn’t remember. We’re talking about items that are 45 years old. It has been required for at least the last 30 years that an attorney be present.”

Rial was scheduled for sentencing Tuesday, Sept. 22, but the matter was adjourned to Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m., so the defense can make preparations to challenge.

Rial was arrested last June by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office and is currently lodged in the Mason County Jail. The conviction stems from a March 11 incident in Victory Township when Rial, a convicted felon, was in possession of a rifle, said Spaniola.

The maximum penalty for the conviction is five years, said Judge Susan Sniegowski previously, but Rial’s habitual offender status elevates the maximum sentence to life in prison.

Rial’s pending sentence would run concurrent to a probation violation charge, the prosecutor said. His probation stems from a 2011 second-degree vulnerable adult abuse conviction.