2 men charged with intent to murder after car chase with deputies

Cody Haner, 35, from White Cloud, and Randy Smith, 34, from Cadillac were both arraigned in the Lake County Trial Court on Wednesday, according to a Lake County Sheriff’s Office press release.

BALDWIN — Two men who allegedly shot at deputies while leading them on a car chase in July have been arrested and arraigned.

Cody Haner, 35, from White Cloud, and Randy Smith, 34, from Cadillac were both arraigned in the Lake County Trial Court on Wednesday, according to a Lake County Sheriff’s Office press release.

According to the release, both men were charged with the following:

Count 1: Assault with Intent to Murder

Count 2: Assault with Intent to Murder

Count 3: Accessory After the Fact to a Felony

Count 4: Weapons-Firearms-Possession By Felon

Count 5: Weapons-Ammunition-Possession By Felon

Count 6: Police Officer-Fleeing-Fourth Degree-Vehicle Code

Count 7: Weapons-Felony Firearm

A habitual offender second offense notice was added to Haner’s charges and a fourth offense notice was added to Smith’s charges. Bond was set at $500,000 for each individual, according to the release.

The charges are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt. The men are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

On July 19 around 4:30 a.m., Lake County Deputy James Buscaino tried to conduct a traffic stop on a 2005 Buick Terraza minivan in the area of State Road and 64th Street in Chase Township for moving violations, deputies said.

The vehicle did not pull over and fled at a high rate of speed. Buscaino, along with Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Timothy Keena, pursued the fleeing vehicle. During the pursuit, multiple gunshots were fired from the vehicle at these deputies, law enforcement said.

The deputies did not fire back at the vehicle and after several miles lost sight of it and the pursuit ended. The deputies were not injured during the pursuit, the release states.

After the pursuit ended, an extensive investigation involving the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, Michigan State Police, Wexford County Sheriff’s Office and Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office began immediately, law enforcement reported.

According to a MSP press release, later that same day, the suspect vehicle was found burned in Missaukee County. The investigation also resulted in the recovery of a handgun suspected to have been used against the Lake County deputies.

Smith was also wanted in Wexford County after Michigan State Police troopers from the Cadillac Post were sent to a crash on Paluster Street near Whaley Street in Cadillac at about 10:05 p.m. on July 19. Upon arriving, they found a crashed pickup truck, according to a July MSP press release.

Police said there were no occupants in the truck but while searching the vehicle they found a loaded pistol concealed inside. The truck was towed from the scene and was further processed at the MSP post. An investigation into the incident continued and revealed evidence that Smith had been the driver of the vehicle and had the pistol, police said.

Cadillac News