Judge denies bond in drug case

Becky Vargo • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:00 AM

A 36-year-old Grand Haven woman cried in front of the judge and begged to be allowed to spend Christmas with her children.

When the judge denied bond – on what started out to be a plea on a heroin possession charge — Kelly Jeanette Stygstra cursed the judge and the court as she left the courtroom.

Stygstra, represented by attorney Philip Sielski, was facing felony charges because of her criminal history, said Judge Karen Miedema during the hearing Monday afternoon in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

But it was a recent bond violation that pushed the situation over the top.

Stygstra was out on bond for controlled substance possession charge that resulted from a May 20, 2018, stop in Ferrysburg.

Court officials noted that it had just come to their attention that Stygstra was arrested on Sunday for larceny and possession of marijuana (which would be a violation of her bond)

Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Matwiejczyk said that Stygstra, according to the police report, admitted to going to Sporty’s Bar in Grand Haven and stealing items from several different vehicles along the way.

Grand Haven Public Safety officers caught up with her and she allowed a search of her vehicle, according to a probation officer who was reading from the police report.

Police searched her car and found some of the stolen items. Police also found marijuana in the vehicle.

The probation officer noted that Stygstra admitted to police that she drank alcohol in the bar – another bond violation.

The probation officer called Stygstra a “high risk case.”

Sielski, speaking for his client, said that the marijuana belonged to the woman’s boyfriend.

He also noted that Stygstra was supposed to start working at a new job Monday and that she has two children who live with her. 

Stygstra told Miedema she knew what to do to keep herself from violating bond again.

“I graduated with flying colors” from drug court in October 2017, she said. “I did really good for a while.”

Matwiejczyk said that Stygstra’s criminal history related to drugs and stealing dates back to 2001.

Her Ottawa County record shows marijuana use in 1998, malicious destruction of property and possession of marijuana in 2001, possession of marijuana second offense in 2002, trespassing in 2005 and uttering and publishing and theft of a financial transaction device in 2006. 

Matwiejczyk said there are also more recent breaking and entering and larceny in a building charges as well.

As of the court hearing, Stygstra had not been charged with the thefts from vehicles.

She remains lodged at the Ottawa County Jail.

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