Gwinn man facing murder charge offered plea deal

MARQUETTE — Randy James Tuominen, the Gwinn man facing a count of homicide-felony murder and two counts of first-degree child abuse in relation to the September death of his infant son, has been offered a plea agreement in the case.

If Tuominen accepts the plea agreement at a plea hearing to be held Wednesday, he will avoid a jury trial scheduled for June 10.

This was discussed at a final pretrial conference for Tuominen in 25th Circuit Court Friday, with Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi presiding.

“The people proposed a plea offer to the defense and the offer was a plea of no contest to homicide, second degree, with an agreement to dismiss the felony murder (charge) and an agreement to dismiss both of the child abuse first degree counts,” Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese said.

The three felonies Tuominen is charged with are all punishable by up to life in prison.

If Tuominen pleads no contest to second-degree homicide, he could be sentenced to “life or any number of years in prison” with parole eligibility, as opposed to the mandatory life without parole sentence for a felony homicide murder conviction, according to Michigan Compiled Laws.

If no plea is entered Wednesday, Tuominen’s seven-day jury trial will start June 10 in 25th Circuit Court, according to court documents.

Tuominen was charged with the three felonies by the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office after a month-long investigation into the death of Tuominen’s 4-month-old infant, which was discovered when emergency personnel were dispatched to a report of an unresponsive infant in Gwinn on Sept. 29.

A joint investigation involving the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Child Protective Services and the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office followed the incident, with a report submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review, police said previously.

After the charges were issued, Tuominen was lodged at the Marquette County Jail without incident, officials said. He was bound over to circuit court Dec. 3 after a district court preliminary examination, in which he alleged the death of the infant was the result of Tuominen accidentally falling on the child. His arraignment in circuit court was waived in mid-December.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.