Clemens Felony Charge Stands

By: Chris Faulknor, Editor
editor@boynegazette.com
(231) 582-2799

Photo courtesy of The News Herald

Long-time Boyne City native Emma Clemens, 22, recently learned the felony charge against her for allegedly disinterring and mutilating an infant body will not be dropped.

Clemens went back before Judge Geno Salomone in Taylor regarding the felony charge on Feb. 16.  Salomone denied the request, and bound the case over to the 23rd Circuit Court for arraignment where they will either execute a plea deal or the case will go to trial.  Clemens is set to appear on March 2 at a court hearing to determine what plea options exist, and the courts will proceed from there.

 

According to the News Herald story by Rene Cizio,

on July 24, Clemens is alleged to have given birth to a stillborn baby.  According to court testimony, after several days of symptoms, Clemens miscarried her baby on the night of July 24, while visiting family in Taylor.  Testimony states further that nobody knew she was pregnant, and although family had asked, she denied it.

After determining that the baby was dead, Clemens stated that she put the body in a garbage bag in a backpack, and did not tell anyone what had happened.  Clemens told police that the next day, the family went home, and Clemens took the backpack with her, intending to give it a proper burial.  Her attempts to bury the backpack under a large lilac tree were unsuccessful, and she left the backpack behind, leaving for college at Northern Michigan University.  It was stated in court that her mother, Jody Clemens, found the baby on Sept. 7, while trimming the tree.

Police say that Tom Clemens, her father, unzipped the back, said that it smelled bad, and dropped it off at the police station before going to work.  It was later that day as Jody Clemens spoke with her daughter, that she learned what had happened.

“She said that she had had a baby when we were in Taylor, and she didn’t know what to do, so she brought it home,” Jody Clemens said.  Emma Clemens was charged in court with unlawful disposition of an unclaimed body, a 90-day misdemeanor, and disinterment and mutilation of a body, a 10 year felony.

Clemens’ attorney, Edward Zelenak, recently asked for removal of the felony charge, stating that they were ‘excessive’ and that the statute was adopted for people who mess with corpses in cemeteries.

Lora Weingarden, a Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, disagreed.

“The statute requires the defendant moving a body or a portion of a body, and clearly she did that,” Weingarden said. “She delivered it in Taylor, she carried it all the way to Boyne City and left it in a backpack for five weeks and did not properly dispose of it.”

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