2015-12-17 / Community

Circuit Court

Judge Gerald M. Prill

Howard pleads guilty

A 28-year-old Sebewaing woman already serving a 365-day jail sentence for stealing from a man who had paid for sex pleaded guilty to another felony Monday.

Chelsee Lucille Howard faces up to 30 months in prison for resisting, obstructing or assaulting a police officer and for being a second-offense habitual offender.

A charge of domestic violence will be dismissed per a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The charges stem from an alleged assault on a family member, which police reports indicate happened in March.

Sentencing was set for Feb. 8.

Howard was represented by Bad Axe attorney Walt Salens.

Drunk festivalgoer jailed for antics

A 28-year-old Cass City man has discovered to his detriment that not everything that happens at Cheeseburger stays at Cheeseburger.

Bryan James Periso, who was arrested for his behavior as a passenger during a drunk-driving related traffic stop, was sentenced Monday to seven months in jail for a conviction of police officer assault.

Although the court’s probation department recommended Periso serve 365 days in jail with no subsequent probation, Circuit Court Judge Gerald M. Prill said a lesser sentence plus 18-months of probationary supervision is more appropriate and could allow Periso to retain his job.

While officers who were involved in the traffic stop testified at a pretrial hearing that Periso attempted to kick them, Periso contends he slipped on the wet ground and flailed after striking his head on the window of the vehicle he had been ordered to exit.

Defense attorney Jill Schmidt said Periso’s excessive use of profanities during the incident likely led to the felony charge rather than misdemeanor disturbing the peace.

“Had Mr. Periso been a little more eloquent in his speech, I doubt this case would be in circuit court today,” she said.

Schmidt said Periso shouted about “police brutality” while being restrained on the ground after breaking the car’s window with his head.

Huron County Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski said Periso’s verbal assault on the responding officers continued until he was lodged at the jail and included obscene statements about the wife of the officer who transported him.

“The way he was acting that evening, there is no law enforcement that should have to deal with that,” Rutkowski said.

He added Periso was on probation through the Tuscola County Courts and should not have been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.

Prill admonished Periso for ignoring the terms of his probation and for disrespecting the officers who were attempting to do their jobs. He said if Periso believed he was treated unfairly by the officers, he should have filed a complaint with the department rather than attempt to take the law into his own hands.

“You might not agree with what they did or how they did it, but that’s not the place for you to act out,” Prill said. “... It wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to apologize to the officers in this case and tell them you learned a lesson.”

Periso was given credit for 62 days already served. Terms of his probation include he may not drink alcohol, use drugs, enter bars or exhibit assaultive behavior. He must also submit to alcohol and drug testing, undergo substance abuse treatment and seek mental health treatment.

He was ordered to pay $198 in in fees and costs and at least $10 monthly for probation oversight. Additionally, he must reimburse the county for the cost of his court-appointed attorney.

Periso will be allowed work release and is eligible to participate in the jail’s in-house substance abuse program.

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