2017-07-13 / Community

Munching marauder sidelined by sentence

By Cindy Centofanti
Staff Writer • ccentofanti@mihomepaper.com

Erika Sprague Erika Sprague HURON COUNTY - A woman who broke into local businesses in Elkton was delivered a strident sentence and will serve her time in a prison cell.

Erika Ann Sprague, 46, was shown no leniency in Huron County Circuit Court with Judge Gerald M. Prill prevailing. Sprague appeared with Bad Axe attorney Elizabeth Weisenbach on Monday. The duo stood side by side while Prill announced the three charges against the defendant - two counts of breaking and entering with intent and one count cocaine possession.

The charges stem from an incident dating back to March 21, when Sprague broke into the Elkton Family Medicine and the Hitching Post Inn, where she stole cash and random food items - chicken wings and a slice of cheese, according to Prosecuting Attorney Timothy J. Rutkowski.

Security footage utilized during the investigation revealed she broke into both businesses by shattering the windows and trampling down the doors. After a search warrant was executed at Sprague’s place of residence, police found enough substantial evidence to make the arrest.

The defense opened with an acknowledgment in a four-page apology letter the defendant wrote to the court and to others who were hurt by her substance abuse.

Weisenbach made note of a particular section within the contents of the letter, which stated Sprague found God during the process and will be making an effort to be in a spiritual environment while she continues to strive for sobriety.

Rutkowski made known Sprague is no stranger to breaking and entering. He said she was convicted in October 2011 for an incident when she invaded a residence in 2010. Rutkowski also said the defendant still owes previous restitution from other convictions.

Additionally, Sprague was out on probation from her most recent conviction dating back to 2015 in Bay County where she was found guilty of larceny in a building. Still on probation, Sprague broke into the local businesses in Elkton.

“You were so high and so intoxicated that you don’t recall the incident,” Prill said. “It’s time to balance your actions and four prior felonies.”

Prill fashioned a sentence of two to 15 years in prison, with 108 days credit for time already served for the first count of breaking and entering with intent. Restitution in the amount of $1,535 is to be paid to Elkton Family Medicine, along with $130 in crime victim rights costs and $68 in state minimum costs.

For the second count of breaking and entering with intent, Sprague received the same sentence, two years minimum to 15 maximum in prison with 108 days credit. Restitution must be paid in the amount of $3,060, plus $130 in crime victim rights costs and $68 in state minimum costs.

Lastly, for the possession of a controlled substance, one year and six months minimum to six years maximum, with credit for 108 days, is to be served in prison. She is set to be lodged at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti.

All charges are to run concurrently with each other.

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