Charges filed by PA office up 21 percent

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The number of charges filed by the Barry County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in 2012 increased over 21 percent when compared to the numbers from 2011. The office also handled 100 more felony cases in 2012 when compared to the previous year.

The total number of charges filed in 2012 was 2,874. In 2011, the office filed 2,366 charges, and in 2010, 2,534 charges were filed through the local prosecutor's office.

Of the charges filed in 2012, 676 were felony cases, which is 100 more than the 576 felony cases filed in 2011 and 133 more than the number of felony cases filed in 2010, which was 543.

Cases included one charge of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree. In 2011, the prosecutor's office filed two murder in the second degree charges.

The number of misdemeanor cases was up only slightly in 2012 when 751 cases were filed. Misdemeanor cases numbered 740 in 2011 and 732 in 2010.

Other cases included 36 conservation violations, six watercraft violations and 1,405 traffic tickets and infractions. A total of 421 felony cases were bound over to Circuit Court.

This week, Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox released a year-end report that offered a breakdown of the types of charges filed in 2012.

The charges are listed below by category. The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of charges filed in 2011. Some defendants were charged with multiple crimes or counts per case.

* Controlled substances related charges, 166 felonies (181) and 89 misdemeanors (82).

* Weapons related charges, 10 felonies (26) and two misdemeanors (0).

* Arson related charges, eight felonies (three) and one misdemeanor (0).

* Driving charges, such as driving while revoked or leaving the scene, 41 felonies (24) and 194 misdemeanors (153).

* Driving while intoxicated charges, 29 felonies (28) and 159 misdemeanors (153).

* Sex offenses, 34 felonies (24) and one misdemeanor (three).

* Assault, domestic assault, resisting arrest, escape from custody or felonious restraint charges, 105 felonies (97) and 59 misdemeanors (55).

* Robbery related charges, five felonies (four).

* Stealing, receiving stolen property and failure to return rental property charges, 105 felonies (97) and 59 misdemeanors (55).

* Burglary charges, 89 felonies (86).

* Tampering, property damage or trespassing charges, 73 felonies (41) and 26 misdemeanors (43).

* Forgery and fraud charges, 37 felonies (48) and three misdemeanors (six).

* Child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and custody charges, 35 felonies (19). There were also six misdemeanor cases in 2011.

* Harassment, stalking, peace disturbance, violation of an order of protection charges, four felonies (four) and 44 misdemeanors (30).

* Passing bad checks and stopping payment charges, 34 felonies (25) and 166 misdemeanors (201).

* Nonsupport, 23 felonies (15) and 28 misdemeanors (38).

* Alcohol related charges, including minor in possession and supplying alcohol to a minor, 41 misdemeanors (44).

* Miscellaneous charges, 63 (48).

In 2012, the prosecuting attorney's office collected $166,626.65 in restitution and $110,452.48 in funds for bad checks. A total of $22,155.33 in bad check fees were paid to the county, and $15,960.59 in fees were paid to the Barry County Drug and DWI Court.

In 2012, 115 individuals were sentenced to the Department of Corrections, which is only one more than the number recorded in 2011 and eight more than in 2010.

Last year, 82 individuals received straight sentences and 33 received a shock term of incarceration. In 2011, 93 defendants received straight sentences and 21 received shock terms.

In addition to Cox, the Barry County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is staffed by Pat Sullivan, assistant prosecuting attorney, Chris Wilyard, Vickie Easley, Debbie Miller and Lorie Howard, clerical staff and Vern Warren, investigator.

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