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Bingo robber receives 1 year

Circuit court sentencing was held this morning

February 12, 2010
By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE - One of the defendants in the mugging of an elderly Ishpeming woman has been sentenced to 12 months in the Marquette County Jail and three years probation.

Kasey Lee Morcom, 25, appeared before Judge Thomas Solka this morning to receive sentence for the charge of larceny from a person.

Morcom tearfully expressed her regret over her actions to the victim - Ruth Fredin of Ishpeming -and the victim's family, who were present in the courtroom.

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Kasey Lee Morcom appeared in court for sentencing this morning. Here, she is shown standing beside attorney, Dianne Heitman. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)

"I never wanted anything like this to ever happen and I never wanted to take away anything from anyone, not material possessions, feelings of security, emotions, memories, anything. It makes me sick to think of what happened. I have never in my life regretted anything like I do this. I wish so I could take it back," she said.

Morcom said her judgment was impaired due to drug use and said she used her time in jail to re-evaluate her life and decisions.

"As she has indicated, she has woken up from the drug nightmare and has caused hardship for a lot of people, she recognizes that," Morcom's lawyer Dianne Heitman told the court.

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The charges stem from an incident on Oct. 17 in which Fredin was robbed of more than $1,000 in bingo winnings as she walked from her car to the entrance of the Pioneer Bluffs Apartments in Ishpeming. Her purse was stolen and, in the process, she was dragged several feet across the pavement.

Morcom was originally charged with unarmed robbery, but accepted a plea deal in exchange for her cooperation against co-defendant Jesse Mitchell, 25, also of Ishpeming.

Fredin's daughter Carla Perala addressed Morcom on behalf of her mother, describing the effects of the incident on her quality of life.

"My mom at 81 was still living life at her fullest before you robbed her. She was proud of what she does at her age, fearless but aware of her surroundings always, and willing to do anything within reason. Now she's on depression medication, fearful to walk across the parking lot. She envisions you always. She still has dreams that Jesse is coming at her and dragging her," Perala said.

In addition to the emotional effects of the incident, Perala also described the loss of personal items in Fredin's purse including several family photos.

Following the sentencing, Perala and Fredin said they hoped Morcom would use her time in jail to change herself for the better.

"I really think she should think things over," Fredin said.

In sentencing, Solka said he had to weigh the needs of both the defendant and the victim, as well as the safety of the community.

"Negaunee, Ishpeming, Marquette are communities where people should feel safe to walk home after going out to a bingo game ... We've had very little crime in these communities of people being mugged on the street, but it occurred," Solka said.

"This is your first crime. You have no criminal history. However, for being your first crime, you engaged in a very serious crime."

Solka gave Morcom credit for 105 days already served in jail. As part of her probation, she was ordered not to associate with people using drugs and alcohol, to appear for drug screenings and not to enter bars or other establishments serving alcohol, among other conditions.

Mitchell is set for sentencing on March 11.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is



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