A 21-year-old Midland man will spend at least eight years
in prison for kidnapping an Isabella County boy in September.
Andrew Smith stood quietly at the podium with his attorney, Gordon Bloem, as Trial Judge Mark Duthie sentenced him to 85 months to 25 years in prison
for the kidnapping of 11-year-old Brendan Chobod of Chippewa Township.
During the sentencing, Duthie condemned Smith, who was also facing two drug charges.
"Your conduct was reprehensible," Duthie said. "It caused a lot of pain and anguish."
Duthie sentenced Smith to 23 months to four years
in prison for two delivery of marijuana charges that Smith pled guilty to, along with the kidnapping charge, in November.
He also ordered Smith to pay about $10,000 in restitution
to the Michigan State Police, Isabella County Sheriff's Department and Mt. Pleasant Police Department to pay for overtime incurred in searches for the boy, along with $260 in restitution
to the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team for their work in the drug arrests.
Although involved in the case because Smith crossed state lines, the FBI did not request restitution.
Duthie left restitution to Brendan's family open.
Duthie also pointed out that Smith was on probation from a previous drug conviction before being charged with two more felony drug charges and kidnapping.
Duthie handed down the sentences after Bloem, Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick and Carol Russell, Brendan's grandmother, addressed the judge.
Smith, who had been a family friend, spent time with Brendan but was apparently cut off from contacting the boy after the family learned of the new drug charges.
Russell, struggling to hold back tears, told Smith that the family is angry and that the ordeal has been hard on Brendan, whose nickname is "Chuckie."
"Chuckie misses you," Russelll said. "He loves you."
Russell told Smith that he could have called her if he wanted to see Brendan.
"That's all it would have took," she said.
Bloem, who was representing Smith on the kidnapping charge, told Duthie that his client, who is of slight build, is afraid for his safety in prison
and asked the judge to sentence him to a minimum five years in prison.
Bloem spoke of Smith having to go within the next few days to the Reception and Guidance Center at the state prison in Jackson, along with convicts from all over the state.
"I know he's very frightened of that," Bloem said, adding that once he is released from prison, Smith will be required to register as a sex offender. "HIs behavior is going to be substantially monitored."
Bloem said Smith knows that what he did was wrong
Burdick, however, told Duthie that he doesn't get the sense that Smith is sorry for what he did.
"His attitude is, 'What's the big deal?'" Burdick said.