According to police, a man who allegedly assaulted and robbed an elderly Michigan woman in her home has been taken into custody. Officers responded to a call in Grandville at the 3700 block of Prairie Street Southwest on the morning of June 19. According to Grandville police, the woman was tricked into letting a stranger into her home. The man reportedly stole an unknown amount of money and attacked the woman. He then left the scene on a bicycle.
Grandville police identified the man with help from the Grand Rapids Police Department. The Special Response Team executed a search warrant at a Grand Rapids home on June 20 and took the defendant into custody. He is facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and home invasion. The defendant has been convicted of violent offenses in the past. He pleaded guilty to murder charges in March 1982. Around the same time, he reportedly assaulted a 58-year-old woman. He pleaded guilty to assault in connection with the woman's assault.
A jury or judge may be negatively influenced by a defendant's criminal history. This could result in a guilty conviction and severe penalties for a defendant who has been convicted of home invasion or assault charges. In this news story, the defendant pleaded guilty in two previous cases. It is possible that he pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement.
When there is a possibility of a conviction due to a defendant's criminal record or the prosecution's evidence, a criminal defense attorney might suggest a plea agreement. It is up to the defendant whether or not to accept a plea deal. On the one hand, the case may be resolved without a trial. On the other hand, the defendant might have to agree to plead guilty, which will result in a criminal record.
Source: Wood 8, "Assault, robbery suspect is convicted murderer", June 21, 2014