Gardenhire sentenced to up to 120 years in prison. 

November 10, 2021


Gardenhire sentenced to up to 120 years in prison. 

MT. PLEASANT — Isiah Gary “Zeke” Gardenhire, 40, of 4173 S. Isabella Rd., Mt. Pleasant, the man who killed an Isabella County teenager and raped the girl’s mother, was sentenced to 75 to 120 years in prison recently in an Isabella County court. Gardenhire had pled no contest to second-degree murder along with other crimes related to the incident. No contest is not an official admission of guilt, but is treated as a guilty plea at sentencing.

Gardenhire had bonded out of Mason County Jail in May where he had been arrested for criminal sexual conduct second degree (victim between age of 13-17) in a separate matter. 

In August, Gardenhire was charged with a total of 12 counts, including one count of homicide, multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery and carjacking.

On May 27, 2021, he was arrested by Mason County Sheriff’s Office on a felony charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (victim between age 13-17). Bail had been set at 10% of $7,500. A probable cause hearing was scheduled in Mason County’s 79th District Court today. Gardenhire has a criminal record, with his most recent prison sentence stemming from weapons charges in Mason County. 

“There was a domestic assault that took place on south Isabella road,” Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi said following Gardenhire’s arraignment in August. “That assault took place between Mr. Gardenhire and his girlfriend. During which time, he forced her to engage and complete in an act of sexual assault. At some point during that altercation, Gardenhire’s attention turned to her daughter, who was in the home as well. When Mr. Gardenhire went to retrieve her daughter, it’s our understanding that the mother escaped the home, went to make contact when the police and when police arrived, they found that the mother’s daughter had been stabbed.”

Within the following 45 hours, Gardenhire broke into an apartment which lead to the multiple other charges he is now facing.

Separately, Gardenhire was charged in the killing of an Ingham County couple in April.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Gardenhire was discharged from prison Feb. 12, 2020, after serving about four years for a felon possessing a firearm conviction out of Mason County. He had also been imprisoned for home invasion second degree out of Ingham County and had been convicted in 2000 of assaulting a jail employee/attempting to escape and attempted felonious assault in Isabella County. He was sentenced to three years in prison for each charge.

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