2013-01-31 / Front Page

Prison term for burglar

Area woman will serve minimum of 4 years

MANISTIQUE – A Manistique woman will serve a minimum of four years in prison for a string of burglaries committed last year. The sentence was handed down last week in 11th Judicial Circuit Court.

Samantha Jo Jenerou, 22, of 853N Shunk Rd., pled guilty in December to three counts: home invasion first degree, a 20-year felony; home invasion second degree, a 15-year felony; and home invasion third degree, a 5-year felony.

During the sentencing hearing Jan. 24, her lawyer, Jayne Mackowiak, suggested the judge deviate from sentencing guidelines. She claimed Jenerou’s past misdemeanor drug sentences added at least one year on to the minimum sentence that was handed to the co-defendant in the case, Michael Alan Olsen. In November 2012, Olsen, 24, of 620 Garden Ave., was sentenced to prison for a minimum of 48 months to 20 years for the same charges faced by Jenerou.

Mackowiak read from a journal kept by Jenerou during her probation period for her previous offenses.

The journal detailed Jenerou’s struggle with drug addiction and depression, among other afflictions.

According to Schoolcraft County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Noble, Jenerou’s struggle was not enough of a factor to reduce her sentence.

“Addiction is not, in the people’s view of things, a substantial and compelling reason to depart from the scoring guidelines,” said Noble.

In her statement to the court, Jenerou apologized for actions.

“I’m not proud of the things I have done; it haunts me every day,” she said. “I cannot help but feel guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed about my actions. I know in my heart that these people (victims) did not deserve this – I took away their sense of security in their own homes.”

Jenerou noted that she has been sober for seven months, and seeing a counselor once a week.

“I’m not a bad person who’s trying to get good, but a sick person who’s trying to get well,” she said.

While handing down her sentence, Judge Mark E. Luoma explained Jenerou’s record prior to the misdemeanor had been “unblemished” and that her life “spiraled downhill quickly.”

“In this particular instance, the court is satisfied that the time should be reduced from 72 months to 48 months,” he added.

Luoma ordered the three sentences to run concurrently, meaning Jenerou will serve a minimum of 48 months and a maximum of 20 years.

She was credited for 221 days served in Schoolcraft County Jail and ordered to pay $934 in court fines and costs. She was also order to pay a joint restitution of $28,080.11 with Olsen. Jenerou originally faced 11 felony charges.

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