Woman sent to jail for stealing $22,000 from her mom.

May 13, 2019

Carissa Hale with defense attorney Julie Springstead-Waltz. Oceana County Sheriff’s Deputy David Gregwer is pictured in the background.

Woman sent to jail for stealing $22,000 from her mom.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP – A 25-year-old Greenwood Township woman was sentenced Monday, May 13, in 27th Circuit Court to one year in jail for stealing her mother’s safe that contained $22,000.

Carissa Leann Hale, of 9329 E. McKinley Rd., pleaded guilty to safe breaking, which is punishable by up to life in prison.

“No mother wants to see their daughter go to jail,” her mom said Monday – the day after Mother’s Day.

“This has been a difficult case, because it was so severe,” said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon, noting that this is Hale’s first criminal conviction. “I’ve had numerous opportunities to talk to her mother. We all want to make sure Carissa doesn’t reoffend and gets help with her addiction.”

Hale also faced charges of larceny of firearms, larceny in a building and felony firearm stemming from the crime spree she went on with her boyfriend, Jon-Erik Cook, 33, of Fremont last January. The other charges were dismissed in a plea agreement.

Hale stole the safe from her mother’s home on McKinley Road. She fled to Florida and had to be extradited to Michigan following the crime.

It was alleged that she also stole two handguns from her mother’s home, where Hale also lived. The handguns were likely sold by Hale for drug money, said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast.

Jon-Erik Cook faces a minimum of term of up to 29 months in prison after pleading guilty in 27th Circuit Court last month to safe breaking.

Cook testified that he loaded the safe into a truck and took it to his house. “I used a crow bar and a hammer, and got it open.” He said he spent his share of the theft – $2,000 – on drugs. He also testified that he gave the guns, which were a 9-millimeter and a .40-caliber pistol, to his ex-girlfriend, and she was going to trade them for drugs.

Hale was also ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution.

“I just want to tell my mom I’m sorry, and I love her,” Hale said as she wept.

“This is a serious offense – the maximum penalty is life,” said Judge Bradley G. Lambrix. “You’re very, very young. This was a very, very bad decision on your part and life-changing.”

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 10-19 months.

In addition to jail and restitution, the judge ordered three years of probation, which may include Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI) or “boot camp.”

Lambrix gave Hale credit for 104 days served in jail. He said that drug rehabilitation will be voluntary. “I’m not going to order it, but I ask you to seriously consider it. You’re going to have a lot of time to think about what you did, and I hope you never appear in here again.”

Cook’s sentencing is set for June 17 at 9 a.m.

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