LAKE CITY — A 23-year-old Williamsburg man faced home invasion and other felonies during his recent arraignment in Missaukee County’s 84th District Court.
Anthony John Couch was charged with one count of first-degree home invasion, breaking and entering a building with intent, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon and operating a motor vehicle with no security for his connection with an incident on Jan. 13 in Reeder Township. A habitual offender fourth offense was added to the charges, which enhances the sentence up to life in prison if the primary offense is punishable by five years or more.
If convicted, Couch faces up to life in prison on the home invasion offense.
The charges are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt. Couch is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
At 12:58 p.m. on Jan. 13, a trooper from the Houghton Lake Michigan State Police Post was on patrol when he observed a vehicle traveling south on South Turnerville Road in Reeder Township. Police said the road the vehicle was coming from was a dead end.
A press release issued by the MSP stated the trooper was familiar with the area and residents, including a single cabin and pole barn. Police said the trooper observed two occupants in the vehicle and a man was driving.
When the man driving the vehicle, later identified as Couch, saw the trooper, police said he quickly turned into a farm located on West Kelly Road. It was also at that time that the trooper was able to see the registration plate was expired, according to the police.
The trooper also knew the owners of the farm and police said the suspect’s vehicle was not a vehicle associated with them. The trooper, however, lost sight of the suspect’s vehicle temporarily as he turned around to follow it. Police said the trooper entered the property and activated his emergency lights.
A man was observed walking out of a pole barn and police said when he saw the trooper he took off running behind the barn. A woman, now seated in the driver’s seat, told the trooper she was the only person in the vehicle. Police said an MSP K-9 Unit was called to the scene and the officers tracked Couch three miles through fields, woods and swamp. Once found, police said he surrendered and was placed under arrest.
The investigation revealed Couch had allegedly just broken into the cabin on the dead-end road and stole several items. He hid a stolen handgun and rifle inside the pole barn before fleeing.
The 33-year-old Cadillac woman who claimed she was the only occupant, was on probation for possession of drugs. During a search of the vehicle, police said the trooper found a jewelry box, tools, a guitar, speakers, vacuum, PS4 gaming console and other items believed to be stolen.
Troopers were assisted at the scene by a deputy from the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and a motor carrier officer from the MSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.
The court issued a $100,000 cash or surety bond and Couch is scheduled to be in court again on Jan. 27.