Holland man convicted of aiding son after woman's dismemberment

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A retired police officer accused of helping his son after he killed and dismembered a woman in West Michigan was convicted Monday of committing perjury and acting as an accessory.

The Kent County jury was deadlocked and couldn't reach a unanimous decision on an additional perjury charge. The results of James Chance's trial emerged a few hours after a judge told struggling jurors to keep working toward a verdict.

Chance's son, Jared Chance, is serving a 100-year prison sentence for killing and dismembering Ashley Young, a former Grand Haven resident, in 2018.

Young's torso was found in the basement of Jared Chance's Grand Rapids rental home, but other remains of the 31-year-old woman haven't been located. They knew each other.

Police said James Chance and wife Barbara picked up their son and drove him 30 miles to their Holland home, along with boxes of body parts, a saw and cleaning products. The saw was found under the couple's couch.

James Chance's attorney told jurors that he did his part by taking his son to the Grand Rapids police department. Jared Chance wasn't immediately arrested.

Last week, Barbara Chance, 64, pleaded no contest to perjury and accessory after the dismemberment.

Michigan suspends breathalyzer contract over testing results

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan State Police has suspended the contract with the company that issues the state's breath alcohol testing devices amid concerns the results could be flawed.

In a letter written to police and prosecutors statewide, state police officials warned law enforcement agencies about "performance-related issues" with the Datamaster DMT breathalyzer devices, according to The Detroit News. Such issues could affect drunken driving cases.

The letter did not identify the problems or how they were uncovered.

Lt. Michael Shaw of the state police said a stop order was immediately issued as soon as they "noticed some issues with the vendor that was responsible for maintenance and auditing the DataMasters around the state."

A phone call to the vendor, Intoximeters Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri, was not returned Saturday.

"We will be (setting) up a unit in order to assume the responsibilities of that vendor," Shaw said. "Authorities will keep using the devices, but Michigan State Police, not the vendor, will calibrate them."

State police will also take over the contractor's duties of certifying and serving the breathalyzer units.

Oakland University criminal justice professor Daniel Kennedy said such issues with the breathalyzer devices could be troublesome for drunken driving cases in Michigan.

"This could open the floodgates for appeals," he said.

Gaylord man gets 5 years in prison for accidental death of hunter

BELLAIRE (AP) — A Michigan hunter convicted of killing another hunter on the first day of the 2018 deer season was sentenced Monday to at least five years in prison.

David Barber of Gaylord was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter and a gun offense, about a month after a jury convicted him in Antrim County.

Investigators said Barber believed he had shot a deer but instead struck Justin Beutel who was found slumped over a deer, 55 yards away. Beutel, 38, of Midland County had sent a photo of himself and his buck to family just before his death. The men didn't know each other.

Barber, 46, will be eligible for parole after five years in prison. 

Grand Rapids graduates get free tuition at community college

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Graduates of Grand Rapids high schools can attend a local community college for free under a plan announced Monday.

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarship covers tuition at Grand Rapids Community College. Students qualify for a full scholarship if they live in the city and attend a local high school for at least three years. A student who lives in Grand Rapids and spends two years at a high school would get a 50 percent scholarship.

The program covers graduates of 22 public and private schools in the city.

The scholarship can be used to earn up to 60 credit hours at GRCC and includes tuition, fees, books and course materials. 

"The Promise Zone is a game-changer because it eliminates financial hurdles as well as provides a clear pathway to quality education," GRCC President Bill Pink said. 

GRCC is contributing $500,000. 

"Anonymous donors have agreed to provide sufficient upfront funding to enable us to raise $3 million over the next five years," Promise Zone said on its website.

Traverse City bookstore closing after nearly 60 years

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — A Michigan bookstore that has served Traverse City for nearly 60 years is closing.

Horizon Books has been a downtown landmark on Front Street, selling books and making space for musicians, authors and community groups.

"Talking about books — that's my superpower," longtime employee Marla Van Hook said. "Communities don't realize what they lose when they lose a bookstore. It's a meeting place. It's a home."

Horizon Books began in 1961. It moved into a former J.C. Penney store in 1993.

"We have recovered from competition and poor sales before but now see ourselves as older and looking toward retirement," the owners said on Facebook. "Horizon Books has been our focus all these years, but we now find that our focus is turning toward other needs of family."

Amy Reynolds, who owns the store with her husband, Vic Herman, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle that it was a "very hard decision but it's time."

The store will close at some point in 2020.

"I never got into it for the money. I got into it because I loved it," said Herman, 90. "Our sales are down, but we could survive financially. We're just getting to a point in our lives where we want to do some other things."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.