It is likely that a top criminal lawyer in Michigan has represented numerous defendants arrested after a failed shoplifting heist. In Michigan, shoplifting is often called retail fraud. Sometimes, the suspects are only accused of property theft, which in itself can bring serious legal consequences. However, if the attempt to take merchandise results in the personal injury or death of another person, particularly a police officer or security guard, the punishments can prove to be much more severe. These exact circumstances can be seen in a recent case where two Michigan residents are being held in the dragging death of a store security officer who was attempting to stop the suspects from stealing.
According to law enforcement officials, James Woolworth, 39, and Samantha Lambency, 20, attempted to rob a Waterford Township K-MART for merchandise in 2010. Because the two are both known substance abusers, police in Oakland County believe that they stole compact discs valued at $400 to supply their drug habits. Witnesses stated that Woolworth fled to a waiting truck driven by Lambency.
In an effort to prevent the two from leaving the scene, security guard Greg Wainio held the car door open with one hand and grabbed the vehicle with the other. Shortly after speeding off, the car hit two pillars in the parking lot, ultimately crushing Wainio between the car and the door. The former parole officer was dragged approximately 200 feet before he fell from the car and the two suspects fled the scene. Law enforcement officials shortly caught up with Woolworth and Lambency and arrested them both on unarmed robbery and murder charges in Michigan.
This felony carries significant consequences
Additionally, Lambency is being charged with being an unlicensed driver causing death. This, like the other charges is a felony and carries significant consequences for those convicted, including lengthy prison or jail sentences.
Unfortunately, both of the suspects have previous history involving police and the courts. In March 2009, Woolworth was paroled from prison on an armed robbery conviction. His criminal record spans over three states, including Michigan. Lambency on the other hand, dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and is an admitted heroin addict. Because of her substance abuse problem, she lost custody of her 15-month-old daughter, as Children’s Protective Services deemed her unfit to be a parent.
The case described above serves as a perfect example of how serious criminal charges can be, especially when involving the injury or death of another person. In addition to fines and a ruined reputation, conviction will likely result in a lengthy jail or prison sentence. To protect yourself against these life-changing consequences, it is essential to seek the help of the best criminal lawyer in Michigan. Doing so immediately is the first step to making sure that your case receives the necessary legal advice and legal representation, working to keep you at home with your family, not behind bars.