‘Career criminal’ sentenced to 6-50 years in prison.

August 14, 2018

Scott Phelps with his attorney, Al Swanson, Jr.

‘Career criminal’ sentenced to 6-50 years in prison.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 46-year-old Hart man with a criminal history of 12 prior felonies and 14 prior misdemeanors was sentenced to six to 50 years in prison in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Aug. 14, for breaking into several businesses along US 10 east of Ludington.

“Mr. Phelps, you’re a career criminal,” Judge Susan K. Sniegowski said to Scott Eric Phelps during his sentencing. “The only option for this court is to send you to prison.”

“Your Honor, I am truly sorry for every crime I have committed against the business owners and the employees,” Phelps said. “My girlfriend and I found ourselves in a bad situation due to our own choices. We were making a lot of bad choices on both of our parts. I hope this will be the last time you see me. I am going to try to make sure of that.”

Phelps, formerly of Ludington, pleaded guilty last month to the charges of attempted safe breaking, breaking and entering, and fourth-offense habitual offender.

Phelps, and his girlfriend Candice Lee Fennel, 22, also of Hart, were arrested in March by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the breaking and entering of Century 21 Bayshore Real Estate, State Farm Insurance, the Salvation Army store and Orchard Market.

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

They were arrested after deputies were dispatched to Holiday Inn Express on US 10 regarding a suspicious situation.

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

K-9 dog Cash tracked Phelps to the Meijer store on US 10, where he was located hiding inside the store and taken into custody. He was also a wanted parole absconder out of the MDOC.

Phelps had been listed with the MDOC as an absconder since Jan. 17, 2018. On Sept. 14, 2014 he was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court for breaking and entering a building with intent and larceny in a building. He was sentenced to 18 months to 15 years in prison for each charge.

He previously had served 28 months to six years in prison 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 received zero days jail credit during his sentencing Tuesday, because he was on parole at the time of the offense.

Phelps was ordered to $3,584.63 in restitution that is joint and several with Fennel.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, 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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