New Era man sent to prison for break-in, gun theft

July 20, 2015
Craig Overla with his attorney, Julie Springstead Walz.

Craig Overla with his attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A 30-year-old New Era man who pleaded “no contest” to one count of breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny and one count of larceny of a firearm last month was sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison Monday, July 20, in 27th Circuit Court.

Judge Anthony Monton sentenced Craig David Overla to concurrent prison terms of two to 10 years for the breaking and entering conviction and two to five years for the larceny of a firearm conviction. Overla was also ordered to pay $5,259 in restitution.

“I apologize to the victims in this matter,” Overla said.

Sentencing guidelines were 19-36 months, Monton said.

Overla pleaded “no contest” to the charges due to “a lack of memory” caused by being under the influence of alcohol and a prescription drug at the time of the offense. He was prepared to plead guilty, but Monton said that due to his “lack of memory,” he would need to enter a “no contest” plea. Overla testified in June that he only remembered “bits and pieces” of the crime. “I was drunk and on Percocet,” he said.

Overla’s convictions stem from a break-in last December that resulted in the theft of a snowmobile, snowmobile trailer, seven guns and many other items.

The snowmobile, the trailer and a few of the other stolen items were recovered outside a residence on Automobile Road in rural Muskegon County. The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.

Oceana County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a barn and machine repair shop in the 8300 block of South 64th Avenue in Grant Township. Deputies found that two local men had discovered their property had been broken into, and several items were stolen.

In exchange for pleading to the first two counts, one count of weapons – firearm possession and one count of felony firearms, along with a fourth-offense habitual offender notice, were dismissed.

Overla was given credit for 166 days served in jail.

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