Man with 27 prior convictions ‘dodges bullet’ with jail sentence.

January 27, 2020

Michael Kelly, left, with his attorney Timothy Hayes.

Man with 27 prior convictions ‘dodges bullet’ with jail sentence.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART – A 58-year-old Whitehall man with 27 prior convictions “dodged a bullet” Monday, Jan. 27, in 27th Circuit Court when he was sentenced to seven months in jail for a conviction of identity theft.

Michael Shawn Kelly, of 4125 Orshal Rd., pleaded guilty to the charge, Nov. 4.

“Mr. Kelly, you’re getting the benefit of probably too good of a deal,” said Judge Robert D. Springstead, because the victim in the case is his brother. “With 15 prior felonies and 12 prior misdemeanors, you dodged a bullet.”

“Early in the case his brother cooperated,” said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon. “Later in the case his brother — the victim — refused to cooperate. The victim witness’ lack of cooperation compromised the ability to prosecute the charge.”

Kelley testified before Judge Springstead in November that he used his brother’s birth certificate and social security card to obtain a driver’s license at the Secretary of State office in Hart, Aug. 10.

Kelly told Judge Springstead that he couldn’t get a driver’s license in his own name, because his license is revoked from having too many points.

“It was a very stupid decision I made, and I need to grow up,” Kelly told the judge.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 10-23 months.

He was also sentenced to 18 months probation.

Identity theft is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, said Bizon.

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