CADILLAC — A 27-year-old Cadillac woman serving a prison sentence after she pled late last year to an assault with intent to murder charge had her case back in front of 28th Circuit Court Judge William Fagerman.
Miranda Lynn Turpin, who was in the courtroom via video from a Ypsilanti prison, was back in the Wexford County circuit court because she believed the scoring she received before her prison sentence was incorrect.
After she was appointed an appellate defense counsel following her January sentencing, per her request, a motion for resentencing was filed in July by her appellate counsel. The motion argued the sentence was invalid because of an allegedly incorrect scoring of the sentence guidelines. In particular, Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore said it had to do with offense variable 3, which deals with physical injuries to victims that require medical attention. The highest score (100) occurs when a victim is killed while the lowest score (0) when no physical injury occurs.
In Turpin’s case, it was scored at 25 points for “life-threatening or permanent incapacitating injury occurred to a victim.‘ Elmore said the argument from the defense counsel was the stab wounds that were sustained by one of the victims in Turpin’s May 2018 attack, bleeding, punctured and collapsed lung was not life-threatening.
Elmore said the defense’s motion was denied by Fagerman.
“The real objective of the defense in its motion was to ask the court to resentence Turpin,‘ Elmore said via email. “However, with no correction of the scoring, and based on the pretrial agreement, the court could not do what the defense was seeking.‘
Elmore said the defense also claimed Turpin’s original trial court defense counsel was ineffective because they did not seek a competency examination. That argument, however, was not properly before the court because it would only be relevant at the court of appeals or if Turpin wanted to motion to withdraw her plea, according to Elmore.
During the recent proceedings, Elmore said Turpin’s current defense counsel stated they did not want to withdraw from the plea and lose its benefit.
“Since the pretrial agreement included a specific sentence, any adjustment in the sentence would make the agreement null and void,‘ he said. “Turpin could not both keep the benefit of the two dismissed charges and lessen her sentence. That would have allowed the prosecution to withdraw and prosecute her on all charges.‘
In January, Turpin was sentenced to 9 to 30 years in prison after a November no contest plea to one count of assault with intent to murder, and 93 days incarceration for a no contest plea to domestic violence for her actions on May 12, 2018, in Cadillac. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as one at sentencing. It also permits the court to determine guilt from the review of the police report.
As part of the November plea, Turpin had agreements with the prosecutor’s office to serve a minimum sentence of nine years with the maximum sentence to be under the discretion of the court, which Fagerman followed.
The plea also allowed for the dismissal of an additional count of assault with intent to do murder as well as carrying a concealed weapon, a double-sided knife.
At the time of Turpin’s sentence, Elmore said he believed it was both fair and a just end to a sad and unfortunate situation. He also said both Turpin’s husband and the female victim supported the plea and the sentence.
Turpin was arraigned May 2018 in 84th District Court on two attempted murder charges for stabbing Jimmy Turpin and Bethany Loose at the Economy Inn in Cadillac. She was bound over to 28th Circuit Court and arraigned in the higher court in June 2018.
Cadillac police say they were sent to the motel at 7:29 a.m. on May 12, 2018, after reports two people had been stabbed. The victims were suffering from multiple knife wounds when officers arrived. During testimony at the district court preliminary exam in June 2018, Cadillac Police Officer Austin Reardon said when he arrived at the scene, he found Jimmy Turpin covered in blood on the balcony in front of room No. 38 as he smoked a cigarette. The weapon used in the assault was found inside the room on one of the two beds. Loose was found kneeling on the floor inside the room with a stab wound to her back.
In addition to the two victims, Reardon testified that blood was found on the floor, door and bed sheets inside the room. Police say Miranda Turpin had fled the scene before their arrival. They found her a short time later that morning at her mother’s home off of M-55.