Lansing Woman Gets 6 Months in Jail
Nicole Armbruster, the 36-year-old Lansing woman accused of embezzlement and welfare fraud, received her Uttering and Publishing sentencing in the Ingham County Circuit Court. Given the nature of the charges, and Armbruster’s history, she actually received a rather lenient sentence from Judge Joyce Draganchuk.
Armbruster was initially charged with two felony counts of welfare fraud, in addition to the seven felony charges of uttering and publishing. As if that wasn’t enough, she was also charged as a habitual offender due to a credit card fraud conviction from back in 2001.
But in July, Armbruster plead guilty to two counts of uttering and publishing, as part of a plea bargain that she had accepted. In return for her plea, all other charges were dropped. At her sentencing, which took place just days ago in the Ingham County Circuit Court, Armbruster tearfully apologized for her crimes, and tried to explain what had led to those choices.
She told the court that while she wasn’t making excuses for her behavior, it had been a really hard couple of years for her. “From losing my baby, to losing my job, post partum, to the health issues, and watching my marriage crumble.” She then asked the judge to let her go home, saying that she had received a great deal of clarity while in jail, and wanted to continue her healing at home.
But Judge Draganchuk was not convinced. She told Armbruster that she was battling a very serious alcohol addiction, and that she would need much more time to address that and heal.
Draganchuk sentenced Armbruster to six months in jail (What is the penalty for Uttering and Publishing in Michigan?), during which time she will need to complete in-patient rehab. If she completes rehab, her sentence could be reduced by as much as three months. After her release, Armbruster will be on probation for three years, during which time she must meet the conditions set out by the Judge.
Although it may appear that Armbruster is likely to spend only a handful of months behind bars, she is also facing a separate drunk driving charge. She has yet to be sentenced for that offense.
Police records show that Armbruster’s vehicle hit the back of a Capital Area Transportation Bus in Meridian Township. According to the arresting officers, she was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Because Ambruster was out on bail at the time of the accident, and was prohibited from using alcohol or drugs as part of her conditional bond, her bond was revoked.
According to the records her blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was .30, which is more than three times Michigan’s legal limit for drunk driving. If convicted, the sentence for that offense could lengthen her time in jail.