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Jamie LaPoint, 20, of Athens — the third defendant to plead guilty in a Coldwater child sex abuse case — was sentenced Sept. 23 in Branch County Circuit Court to a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison.
LaPoint, one of four defendants in the case, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit first degree criminal sexual conduct on a child and one felony count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. She was the third defendant to plead guilty in the case.
She, along with co-defendants David Bailey, of Coldwater; Matthew Toole of Battle Creek; and Talia Furman, of Springfield, was charged with the two crimes she pleaded guilty to, along with one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder — the latter of which was dropped as part of her plea.
The four, during the summer of 2018, had concocted a plan to kidnap a child from a county fair or parade, torture, sexually assault and then kill the child by burning him or her in a barrel.
LaPoint was sentenced Monday to between 25 years and life for the CSC charge and between 51 months and 25 years for the kidnapping charge. The charges are to be served concurrently, meaning at the same time, according to a news release issued by the Michigan State Attorney General’s Office.
“This sentencing makes it clear that when it comes to the safety and welfare of our children and residents, my office will use every resource available to hold dangerous individuals accountable,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement issued in the release.
“I appreciate the Court’s decision and commitment to ensuring justice in this case was served. And I am incredibly proud of the swift action taken by the Michigan State Police and our career prosecutors who intercepted the plot to carry out heinous crimes and prevented Michigan children from being harmed.”
Furman and Bailey were both sentenced in August to a minimum of 25 years and maximum of 50 years each on the same charges as LaPoint. Both also had their conspiracy to commit murder charges dropped.
Toole, who is already serving a minimum of 50 years in a separate child sex case, was the only one of the four defendants not to enter a guilty plea. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 22 in Branch County. Toole is being charged with the same three charges the other three co-defendants were.
He was sentenced March 25 in Calhoun County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is currently serving two consecutive terms of between 25 and 70 years each.