October 31, 2014

Updates on ongoing court cases

By John Fischer|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — Over the past year the Independent has been following court proceedings stemming from two major county incidents — an embezzlement case involving former Standish City Manager Tori Kelly and former Standish City Treasurer Melissa McAllister in Arenac County’s 81st District Court, and a prostitution ring bust that occurred in Turner last year involving defendants Roger Burgess, Lisa Burgess, Leo Nashatka, Nichole Brown, Kevin O’Neill, Sharon Coselman and James Booth in Arenac County’s 23rd Circuit Court.

Coselman was added to the list of defendants in January and charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC).

Brown, Booth and Lisa were added to the prosecutions on Feb 11, which was the same day alleged ringleader Roger Burgess, 49, pleaded guilty.

Booth is facing one count of first-degree CSC, while Lisa is facing three. The alleged instances were with a person under 13.

Brown recently had all charges dismissed.

O’Neill, 24, of Turner, and Nashatka, 22, of AuGres, both face multiple counts of CSC with a person under 13.

McAllister, along with Kelly, allegedly made several illegal fund transfers and misappropriated tax dollars while working for the city. In May 2008, the Standish City Council suspended both employees with pay and in October of last year, council officially fired both employees.

Below are upcoming court dates and statuses of the defendants:

Standish City Embezzlement Cases - District Court Tori Kelly — Kelly is currently scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 13; however, a plea agreement has been rumored to be in the works. If a plea agreement were reached the case would be turned over to circuit court. Melissa McAllister — McAllister is scheduled July 13 for sentencing.
Turner Prostitution Ring Cases - Circuit Court Lisa Burgess and Leo Nashatka — Both are scheduled for jury selection on August 3, however, it has been rumored that date may be pushed back, yet again, due to scheduled vacations from the prosecution. Nichole Brown — All charges dismissed. Kevin O’Neill — O’Neill faces sentencing on June 26 at 10 a.m. James Booth — Booth is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on June 26 as well. Sharon Coselman — Coselman is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on July 15 at 10:30 a.m.

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