Siblings sentenced for felony convictions the same day.

December 5, 2017

David Bothwell

Siblings sentenced for felony convictions the same day.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

LUDINGTON —A 41-year-old man and his 43-year-old sister were both sentenced in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Dec. 5, in separate felony cases.

David Duane Bothwell was sentenced to two to 15 years in prison for absconding bond and fourth-offense habitual offender. His sister, April Lynn Somsel, was sentenced to serve seven months up front of a one-year discretionary jail term for attempted second-degree home-invasion.

Bothwell fled the state when he was out on bond for a charge of third-offense domestic violence, which ultimately was dismissed due to the unavailability of the victim, said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

“He’s here now and accepting responsibility,” said Bothwell’s attorney, Al Swanson, Jr.

“I ask for mercy,” Bothwell said to Judge Susan K. Sniegowski. “The domestic violence was just a misunderstanding. I don’t know why I left the state, I didn’t know I would be in this much trouble for leaving the state.

“My file is full of dumb things I’ve done, and this has got to be the dumbest,” Bothwell said.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 12-48 months.

Bothwell testified previously that he failed to appear in court for the domestic violence charge and then was apprehended out of state last July. His address listed in his court file is “Kentucky.”

Bothwell has previous convictions in Mason County of unlawful driving away of an automobile (car theft), breaking and entering a vehicle, uttering and publishing and second-degree home invasion.

He received credit for 144 days served in jail.

April Somsel with her attorney, Al Swanson, Jr.

Bothwell’s sister, April Somsel of 504 S. Emily St. Ludington, told Judge Sniegowksi that she suffers from an opiate addiction as well as medical issues.

“I’ve lost everything because of my drug addiction,” she said.

The judge ordered that she may be released to an inpatient drug treatment facility after serving five months in jail.

Sentencing guidelines in Somsel’s case are 0-11 months.

She was previously convicted of first-degree home invasion in Oceana County, Spaniola said.

Somsel testified last October that she stole a rake, shovel and other miscellaneous items from an enclosed porch last July.

“I’ve never denied what I did,” Somsel said. “I knew it was wrong.”

“The things that were taken did not have a high dollar value, but you entered someone’s home,” the judge said.

“The drug abuse has taken a real toll on you physically,” Sniegowski said. “It is concerning that it’s changed your physical look. You need to take it to heart what these drugs are doing to you.”

Somsel received credit for three days served in jail.

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