Hart man facing up to 50 years in prison for break-ins.

July 6, 2018


Hart man facing up to 50 years in prison for break-ins.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Scott Eric Phelps, 45, of Hart, and formerly of Ludington, is facing seven to 50 years in prison for breaking into several businesses in Amber and Pere Marquette townships. He pleaded guilty in 51st Circuit Court on Tuesday, July 3, for the charges of attempted safe breaking, breaking and entering, and habitual offender fourth offense, according to Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola. 

Phelps, along with Candice Lee Fennel, 22, also of Hart, was arrested in March by Mason County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the breaking and entering of Century 21 Bayshore Real Estate, 325 S. Brye Road; State Farm Insurance, 103 N. Jebavy Dr.; the Salvation Army store, 5905 E. US 10; and Orchard Market, 212 S. Pere Marquette Highway.

In May, Fennel pleaded guilty for the break-in at the Salvation Army Store, where she said in court that the two stole a safe, and Orchard Market, where Fennel said they stole a cash register. In June she was sentenced to serve 2.5 to 20 years in prison. See related story here.

The arrests were made after deputies were dispatched to Holiday Inn Express, 4079 W. US 10, regarding a suspicious situation. According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, an employee reported a backpack type bag had wires exposed which were plugged into an electrical outlet. Cole said the wires were charging cell phones inside the bag.

When a sheriff’s deputy arrived and made contact with a female subject the male subject fled on foot, Cole said.  The female was a wanted parole absconder out of the Michigan Department of Corrections. A chase of the male subject ensued and the county’s K-9 unit was called to the scene to assist.  

K-9 dog Cash tracked the subject to the Meijer store, 3900 W. US 10, where he was located hiding inside the store and taken into custody at 4:47 a.m.  He too, was a wanted parole absconder out of the MDOC.

Phelps had been listed with the MDOC as a bond absconder since Jan. 17, 2018. On Sept. 14, 2014 he was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court in Mason County for breaking and entering a building with intent and larceny in a building in connection to offenses that took place in the fall of 2013. He was sentenced to 1.5 to 15 years in prison for each charge.

He previously had served a 28 month to six years prison sentence for larceny in a building in Jackson County; uttering and publishing and forgery crimes out of Mason County in 2004; breaking and entering a building with intent out of Manistee County in 1999; and breaking and entering a building with intent out of Mason County in 1999. He had served those sentences concurrently and was released from prison on Jan. 30, 2013.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

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