Judge sends defendant to jail for admitting to drug use before court hearing.

November 1, 2021

Judge sends defendant to jail for admitting to drug use before court hearing.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — A 35-year-old Twin Lake woman who pleaded guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Nov. 1, to breaking and entering a building with intent was immediately sent to jail for admitting to drug use prior to her court hearing.

“I am not accepting your plea,” said Judge Robert D. Springstead. “You admitted smoking marijuana before court and admitted doing meth the night before. Your bond is revoked and you’re being sent to jail.”

Martha Rochelle Edwards, of 8879 20th St., admitted to smoking marijuana prior to her court hearing and using methamphetamine the previous night, so Judge Springstead rejected her plea and remanded her to the Oceana County Jail. Not only did she violate the conditions of her bond by using drugs, but she also tainted her plea by not being in a clear state of mind — or competent — to make the plea.

Edwards faces serving up to three months in jail for her role in a break-in that involves her husband as an accomplice.

Edwards said she, her husband Phillip Arthur Boyette, 37, and Michael James Sutton, 37, were all involved in a break-in of a barn, Aug. 25, 2021 on 142nd Avenue in Otto Township. 

“I was with my husband,” she testified, “We were on a two-track and ran out of gas.”

She told Judge Springstead that she didn’t go into the barn, but Boyette and Sutton did. 

“Did you have any idea what was going to happen?” the judge asked. “No,” she replied. When asked if she was the lookout, she denied it. Although, she admitted carrying away a couple gas cans that her husband had stolen from the barn. 

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 0-9 months, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon. 

A new pretrial hearing will be rescheduled.

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