We’re going to have articles for days about Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson drunk driving to deer camp. The events raise so many questions that we’re not going to run out of story topics any time soon. Oh Grand Traverse County and retiring TCAPS superintendent Paul Soma, we won’t forget about you, but it looks like we’re going to be on Kalkaska County for a while asking questions about how all of that went down.
Today’s question is why the vehicle that Scott Stephenson came back as unregistered when the investigating officer tried to run the plate.
You can see in the police report for Scott Stephenson that the space to put in the VIN is just blank. Not redacted, just blank. Weird.
So then, in the body cam video, they try to run the license plate twice, and it comes back “no record.” But if the vehicle is registered, like vehicles are supposed to be, there would be a record. So what gives?
Also, if you look at that image, Stephenson is listed as the driver of the vehicle. They don’t list him as the owner.
If you watch the video, you can see that there’s nothing in the car. No junk, no personal ornaments, nothing that a person who owns a car would have. But his badge-plaque thinggy was in there.
The police report said that they turned the vehicle over to Jerry Cannon of the Garfield Township Police Department. Uhm, was it towed? Like all vehicles are in these situations? What did Jerry Cannon do with it? Did he drive it? Was it towed? The report doesn’t say that it was towed.
So…where did this car come from? Why was Stephenson driving an unregistered vehicle? Do government entities have to register their vehicles? Did Stephenson take a government vehicle to drive to deer camp? What did Jerry Cannon do with the vehicle? Where is it today?
If Stephenson did joyride in a government-owned vehicle, it’s probably not a joyriding crime. Michigan’s joyriding law, MCL 750.414 doesn’t apply to employee vehicle misuse.
Also, when you try to go to the Kalkaska District Court website, you get this:
So digging into whether the prosecutor really gives impaired offers in all similarly-situated super drunk cases is going to have to wait.
This will not be the last time we talk about this.