Fremont man faces prison for safe breaking.

April 22, 2019

Fremont man faces prison for safe breaking.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Jon-Erik Cook and attorney Terry Nolan.

HART – A 33-year-old Fremont man faces a minimum of term of up to 29 months in prison after pleading guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, April 22, to safe breaking.

Jon-Erik Cook, of 1790 S. Baldwin Ave., also faced felony charges of receiving and concealing weapons, felony firearm and habitual offender, which were dismissed in a plea deal.

Cook was involved in a crime spree with his girlfriend, 25-year-old Carissa Leann Hale, who stole a safe containing approximately $20,000 in cash and two pistols from her parents Jan. 6 in Greenwood Township, Cook testified.

“Who stole it?” asked Judge Robert D. Springstead about the safe. “Carissa Hale,” Cook answered. “Who did she steal it from?” Judge Springstead asked. “Her parents,” he replied.

Cook said 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.”

Cook said he spent his share of the theft – $2,000 – on drugs. “Your drug dealer had a good month, then,” Springstead said. “Yes,” Cook answered. He 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 is charged with safe breaking, larceny of firearms, larceny in a building and felony firearm.

Safe breaking is punishable by up to life in prison.

“Deputies responded to a residence, Jan. 6, in the southeast corner of the county where several items had been stolen,” said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast. “Our detectives did a lot of follow-up with assistance from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office,” said Mast. “They found a safe in the Fremont area that had been broken into.

They spoke with witnesses who were aware of the handguns.” The handguns, which have not been recovered, were likely sold for drug money, he said. Some of the stolen cash was used to bail several people out of the Newaygo County Jail, the sheriff said.

Cook is lodged in the Oceana County Jail on a $75,000 cash bond.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 29-56 months. His minimum prison term will not exceed 29 months, and the court will set the maximum term at sentencing, which is June 17 at 9 a.m.

Cook’s attorney, Terry Nolan, is requesting that his client receive Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI) or “boot camp.” Judge Springstead said it will be up to the Michigan Department of Corrections to determine if he’s eligible.

According to the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS), Cook was sentenced to a prison term of one and a half years in Newaygo County Aug. 2, 2016 for a conviction of operating/maintaining a meth lab.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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