Defendant testifies that drug debt motivated crime.

November 15, 2021


Defendant testifies that drug debt motivated crime.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — A 37-year-old Shelby man who pleaded guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Nov. 15, to second-degree home invasion testified before Judge Robert D. Springstead that he was motivated to steal in order to pay a debt for his methamphetamine habit.

Phillip Arthur Boyette, whose address is listed as 104 N. Michigan Ave., was arrested last September by Oceana County sheriff’s deputies.

Boyette, who remains lodged in the Oceana County Jail on a $25,000/cash/surety bond, was initially charged in five separate criminal cases facing felony charges of first-degree home invasion; felony firearm; larceny $1,000-$20,000; two counts of breaking and entering a building with intent; and two counts of methamphetamine possession (one of the charges stems from a 2018 incident). 

In exchange for his plea, the other charges will be dismissed. 

Boyette’s sentencing guidelines were calculated at 15-25 months, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon. The plea agreement calls for capping his minimum prison term at 18 months. He will also be ordered to pay restitution in the active case and in the dismissed cases. 

Boyette testified that he stole a Side-by-Side ORV from a garage on East Buchanan Road in Ferry Township June 9, 2021. He said that he went with co-defendant David William Cross, 38, of 8968 US 10, Branch, to steal from the property.

I owed him a debt, and I was trying to pay him back,” said Boyette. When asked, he told Judge Springstead that he owed about $1,000 for methamphetamine. He testified that Cross also owed a meth debt.

He told the judge that he and Cross stole generators and other items from the house. Cross brought the stolen goods to the door, and Boyette carried them out to the vehicle. 

The maximum penalty for second-degree home invasion is 15 years in prison.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 31 at 9:10 a.m.

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