Branch man found guilty of resisting police, destroying building following trial.

January 17, 2018


Branch man found guilty of resisting police, destroying building following trial.

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.


HART — A 46-year-old Branch man is awaiting sentencing after a 12-member jury in 27th Circuit Court found him guilty of two counts of resisting and opposing police and malicious destruction of a building last month, according to Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

Seven Laroue, of 9534 N. 192nd Ave., chose not have an attorney and represented himself during the two-day trial at the end of December before Judge Robert D. Springstead.

The charges stem from an incident last summer that occurred in Newfield Township just outside of Hesperia at M 20 and 188th Avenue where LaRoue was residing in a “streamlined trailer,” Bizon said.

It was 1 a.m., and Laroue was “yelling and screaming and carrying on.” He broke a window at his neighbor’s house. “He had an issue with his neighbor,” Bizon said, and his neighbor was his former fifth grade teacher.

After breaking out his neighbor’s window, he went back to his place, where Oceana County sheriff’s deputies found him in “a sleeping position,” the prosecutor said. After police woke him up, he tried sneaking out the window and escaping in the woods. Then, “a tussle in a retaining pond” ensued with the deputies.

No injuries occurred in the incident, Bizon said.

The jury quickly returned from deliberation last month with a guilty verdict.

Laroue faces a charge of assault by strangulation in Newaygo County regarding a separate incident. His case was set for trial Jan. 11, but has been adjourned, said Newaygo County Prosector Worth Stay. Laroue, who has attorney Melissa Dykman representing him, will be evaluated at the state Center for Forensic Psychiatry to determine criminal responsibility and competency to stand trial, Stay said. Dykman made the request for the testing, and the court agreed, he said. Laroue would be transferred from the Oceana County Jail to the forensics center for testing.

Laroue will be sentenced in Oceana County Feb. 12 at 9 a.m.

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