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Interview with Darrin and Jessica

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Darrin: the pre-sentence process is conducted by the probation/parole department. it take approximately 30min to 1hr some times longer. there are many questions that include criminal back ground, family history, school history, work history, health and mental health history, as well as many other questions. The pre-sentence investigator that interviewed me was very Ill-mannered many of them are so over worked they only write down half of what the inmate says.
Jessica: They go over all evidence. Such as police reports,statements, and photos if any. They ask you about your up bringing. How your parents where. Your brothers sisters. If you have a drug or alcohol issue. If you have ever been abused. Sexual assault or physical. They ask you if you have even had any mental issues. If you have ever seen a therapist. A lot of what they ask in this can and will be used against you. They basically use all your problems against you. Once you have broke the law they feel they need to make sure your the court knows all of your garbage but in the end they really have no good way to help people. They only open the wounds and then never help you.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Darrin: the police came to my house and arrested me on a call from my wife at the time accusing me of trying to kill her cat. when the police came to my house the cat was unharmed hiding upstairs in the kids bedroom after getting into a fight with another cat in the house. with no physical evidence Lakeview Police Department arrested me claiming that i tried to kill the cat.
Jessica: I was arrested for fighting with my brothers. I had been beaten with my daughter in my arms and I tried to leave the house. My parents and brothers did not let me leave. Everyone had been drinking. I told them that I would go out the second story window if they would not let me and my daughter leave. They beat me into the stairs and ripped my daughter out of my arms. She was screaming for my brother to stop hurting my mom. Then my brother picked me up and took me to the front porch and punched me in the face. then he threw me in the front yard and the police showed up. I was upset and mad at this point.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Darrin: The court room it self is very new and well maintained. although the seating area is fairly big but not much room for anyone in a wheelchair or using any sort of waling aids. The court house is only 1 story but does have a tunnel underground that connects to the jail where inmates travel through to and from the court.
Jessica: Court was crappy they wanted to charge me with assault and battery 2nd degree Domestic violence and Child abuse 3rd degree. They said that all my family blamed me I was also accused of dangling my daughter out of the window. My brothers and parents lied to the police. Which in Montcalm they are well know cause of there record they all have a violent history and the same court knows how my family operates. It was all dropped besides the child abuse 3rd degree. They said due to the fact that I had my daughter in a situation like that. I was given a 2yr felony.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Darrin: I was charged with animal cruelty; but I plead guilty to attempted animal cruelty for time served so i could contest my wife divorcing me because Montcalm County Jail would not give me access to legal materials about divorce.
Jessica: The police report said non aggravated assault and child neglect. The court papers said Domestic violence, 2 counts assault battery, 2nd degree Child abuse 3rd degree Child abuse. I was convicted of 3rd degree Child abuse.

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