Teen home invader sent to jail for 10 months

November 24, 2014
Steven Rice

Steven Rice

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A 17-year-old Hart man avoided prison but will spend the next 10 months in jail stemming from his arrest last September in connection with a stolen car that he and a juvenile were caught doing donuts with shortly after the theft.

Steven Geno Rice, III, was initially facing two felony counts of home invasion and one felony count of unlawful driving away of an automobile (UDAA), and a 15-year-old Hart boy was charged as a juvenile with one count of UDAA.

Rice was sentenced Monday, Nov. 24, by 27th Circuit Court Judge Anthony A. Monton to one year discretionary jail but must serve 10 months forthwith.  He appeared before the judge in a jail jumpsuit, cuffed and shackled. In a plea agreement, Rice was convicted of second-degree home invasion, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon, which is 15-year felony. “Sending him to prison would have been unjust,” Bizon said after the court hearing, citing Rice’s age. “The victims agreed not to send him to prison. I am grateful for the victims showing a sense of compassion for a young man, who hopefully can turn things around.”

Shortly after the 1991 Pontiac described as a classic car was reported stolen, Rice and the juvenile were apprehended in Shelby after they were spotted doing donuts with it, according to police.

“A BOL (be on the lookout) was put out” for the car, said Hart Chief Dan Leimback.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Detective Shane Hasty spotted the stolen car, Leimback said. Hasty, another OCSO unit and troopers from the Hart post of the Michigan State Police stopped the vehicle, and the suspects were arrested.

The pair had entered another Hart home the previous day, and items were taken from both homes, Leimback said. Both houses were unlocked, and no one was home. The keys were in the car that was stolen, he said.

Leimback said the Pontiac was in good condition, and its owner enters it in area classic car shows.

Rice was also ordered Monday to pay $1,024.66 in restitution; $198 in fines and costs; and must undergo substance abuse treatment as recommended by his probation officer. He will be placed on a 10 p.m. curfew upon his release from jail, Monton said, and will be subject to testing for drugs and alcohol. He was given credit for 13 days served in jail, but probation will examine his time served, which may be up to 24 days.


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