Former Oceana man charged with murder of infant in Ludington. 

September 1, 2021


Former Oceana man charged with murder of infant in Ludington. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A former Ludington and New Era resident has been charged with murdering an infant in the City of Ludington. Craig David Overla, 36, was recently arraigned in Mason County’s 79th District Court with three felony counts including open murder, felony murder, and first degree child abuse. He is also charged with being a fourth time habitual offender. 

According to Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Kreinbrink, the charges stem from an incident that took place on March 22, 2019 when Ludington Police Department, Ludington Fire Department, and Life EMS responded to a call on an unresponsive infant. The 3-month-old child, son of the suspect. Craig Overla, was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and subsequently air lifted by helicopter to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. After life saving measures failed the child was pronounced dead on April 26, 2019. 

Following the investigation by the Ludington Police Department and Michigan State Police, a comprehensive review of the available investigative reports, legal research, and consideration of the totality of the circumstances of the case, Mason County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Beth M. Hand issued the below listed charges against Mr. Overla on July 15, 2021:

Count 1: Open murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison;

Count 2: Felony murder, which carries a penalty of mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole; and 

Count 3:First-degree child abuse, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison

Overla is also charged as a habitual fourth offender. Overla was arraigned on August 31, 2021. He is currently being held at the Mason County Jail without bond. A probable cause conference is scheduled for September 14, 2021 at 11:15 a.m.

Overla has been sentenced 11 times previously for charges that include home invasion first degree (Oceana County), stolen property $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 (Oceana County), unlawfully driving away an automobile (Oceana County), breaking and entering a building with intent (Oceana County), financial transaction device – stealing/retaining without consent (Mason County), escape – prison – conspiracy (Branch County), breaking and entering a building with intent (Oceana County), weapons – firearms – larceny (Oceana County), home invasion, first degree (Oceana County), breaking and entering a vehicle with damage to vehicle (Oceana County), stolen property (Oceana County). 

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