Robbery charge dropped

By NIKKI YOUNK

Staff Writer

CRYSTAL FALLS – After viewing video footage of the crime, Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell has decided to drop an unarmed robbery charge against an Iron River man accused of robbing the Citgo gas station in Caspian.

Powell said that video footage indicated that the defendant, 22-year-old Michael Dean Beauchamp, grabbed items from the store, but did not grab the clerk.

During a hearing in Iron County Trial Court on Monday, Beauchamp accepted a plea deal on the remaining charges.

He pleaded guilty to one felony count of larceny in a building. Powell then dismissed one felony count of resisting and obstructing a police officer and reduced his habitual offender status from fourth to third.

Beauchamp faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison when he is sentenced on April 15.

If Beauchamp had been convicted on the unarmed robbery charge with a habitual offender-fourth status, he would have faced a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The charges against Beauchamp stem from a Jan. 27 incident in Caspian.

Beauchamp testified in court that he stole a case of beer and some cigarettes from the Citgo gas station.

According to Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano, Beauchamp was tackled and detained by two customers who were in the store at the time. They held him until law enforcement officials arrived.

Beauchamp was on parole from the Michigan Department of Corrections at the time he committed the larceny. He spent two and a half years in prison, from February 2010 to August 2012, for charges of breaking and entering and unlawful driving away of an automobile.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.