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Court of Appeals affirms Alpena County ruling

ALPENA — The Michigan State Court of Appeals this week affirmed a lower court’s sentencing of Bruce M. Kinsey for entering a house without the owner’s permission and pushing them out of the way.

On April 18, 2022 in 26th Circuit Court in Alpena County, Kinsey received a sentence of 24 months probation with the first 12 months needing to be spent in jail after a jury found him guilty of one count of third degree home invasion and one count of assault or assault and battery.

Kinsey later appealed the sentence.

The charges Kinsey faced were the result of an incident that took place on Nov. 19, 2020, when Kinsey forced his way into the home of Bonnie McPherson.

According to the ruling by the Court of Appeals, Kinsey appeared at McPherson’s home to help pick up the washing and drying machine of his then-girlfriend who lived in the home with McPherson for a time.

Kinsey and McPherson did not have a good relationship prior to this incident so when Kinsey appeared to get the washer and dryer, McPherson unlocked her screen door and opened it to tell Kinsey that he was not allowed to enter.

As McPherson went to close the door Kinsey reached inside and forced the door open, pushed past her, and began unhooking the washer and dryer. In response, McPherson called 911, telling the dispatcher that she felt threatened by Kinsey’s actions. In both the 911 call and her comments to the deputy who was on the scene, McPherson stated that Kinsey had shoved her to get inside.

In her testimony in front of the jury, however, she said that Kinsey pushed past her, touching shoulder to shoulder.

Kinsey appealed the decision, arguing that there was insignificant evidence presented at the trial on his specific intent to batter McPherson beyond a reasonable doubt, citing the inconsistency of McPherson’s testimony.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that his actions of forcing the door open by grabbing from the inside alone would constitute a battery.

Additionally, the court argued that it is up to the jury to decide which of the testimonies is more credible when coming to a decision.

Since the prosecution team was able to effectively provide a motive for Kinsey to assault and battery McPherson, citing their poor relationship prior, the jury are well within their rights to believe that the idea that Kinsey shoved McPherson as credible, the court said.

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