Coopersville man's history of felonies contributes to prison sentence

Becky Vargo • Sep 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM

A 24-year-old Coopersville man said he was trying hard to get his life back on track despite having no guidance after his parents died when he was younger.

Shawn Paul Luke was sentenced to a minimum three years in prison during a hearing Tuesday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Luke admitted to Judge Karen Miedema that he had 10 or 11 felonies on his record, as well as five misdemeanors.

He was participating in the county drug court when he got a violation for quitting his job.

“I just got a case of the ‘screw its’ and took off,” he said.

Already facing sentencing for a break-in at a Tuffy Auto Service shop on July 21, 2016, in Holland Township, Luke added a fleeing and eluding charge while trying to get away from police on June 15 in Polkton Township.

Luke was not supposed to be driving when police spotted him on 68th Avenue near Roosevelt Street.

According to an earlier news story, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies initiated a traffic stop, police said. The man initially stopped his vehicle for the deputies, but then sped away south on 68th Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The man traveled less than a mile when he attempted to turn into a private residence by traveling through a ditch in the front yard. He lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree.

Police said the man was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. He was transported by ambulance to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids and was in stable condition.

The fleeing and eluding charge, as well as a driving on a suspended license - second offense charge, were dismissed in a plea agreement. Luke did plead guilty to fleeing a police officer fourth degree. He received 180 days in jail on the charge, and was credited with 57 days served.

Luke pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building with intent and habitual offender fourth offense in the Holland Township incident. A safe breaking charge was dismissed. 

Miedema sentenced Luke to 3-10 years in prison for that incident with 144 days credit. He was also ordered to pay $640 in restitution.

“I know I can’t justify the actions of my past,” Luke said. “When I was younger, I didn’t have a good support system.”

Luke said drug court helped him until he moved in with an aunt who was an alcoholic. He was then instructed to move into the rescue mission.

“I’m sick of doing time,” he said.

Luke noted that he had a good support system now and wanted to keep it.

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