Walkerville woman sent to prison for stabbing.

August 18, 2016
Candice Fennel with her attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz.

Candice Fennel with her attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz.

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By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — Candice Lee Fennel, 20, of Walkerville, was sentenced in 27th Circuit Court this week to one year and one day to four years in prison in a bizarre stabbing case that may have involved prostitution.

Fennel pleaded “no contest” to felonious assault last month. She may be eligible for special alternative incarceration (SAI) or “boot camp” instead of serving her time in prison. Judge Anthony A. Monton said during her pretrial hearing in July that he had no objection to SAI.

Charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder; lying to police and second-offense habitual offender were dismissed in exchange for her plea.

Fennel stabbed a 21-year-old Muskegon man in the neck in Crystal Township last May after the two connected through a social app, called meet.com, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

The stabbing occurred at the Brown’s Farm camping area in the federal forest, Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Craig Mast said previously.

After fleeing the scene, Fennel was eventually located by a Muskegon County K-9 tracking dog in a “thicket of briars” in federal forest land, Mast said.

A witness said the victim was “covered in blood” and narrowly avoided death.

A theory in the case is that Fennel was providing prostitution services for the victim, Bizon said. “There was some sort of an agreement for an exchange of services,” he said. “We have reason to believe she engaged in prostitution before.”

It is theorized that Fennel and the victim got into the altercation because they could not agree on a price or the victim may have tried to get services without paying, Bizon said.

The victim continues to recover from the stabbing, Bizon said, through “ongoing therapy.”

Fennel, who is 4’9″, claimed the assault of the 5’9″ victim was done in self-defense, Bizon said. She could not be charged with attempted murder, because “there was not evidence that she intended for him to die,” Bizon said.

Sentencing guidelines are 10-19 months, the prosecutor said.

Fennel, who received credit for 87 days served in jail, was ordered to pay $3,031 in restitution to the victim. Her sentence runs concurrently to a 2015 Newaygo County case.

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