By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
According to court records, outgoing Charlevoix County Commissioner Shirlene Tripp was allegedly assaulted by her son Duane Lester Tripp, 40, of Hayes Township, on Nov. 23.
According to a Charlevoix County Sheriff’s office investigation, officers were called to the Tripp home in Hayes Township.
“Upon arrival, officers learned that the defendant had become angry over receiving news that he had cancer. He began arguing with his mother. He then struck her in the head with a newspaper rolled up into a tight stick causing injury to the victim’s head as evidenced by blood that had dripped down the side of her head,” the sheriff’s report stated. “The defendant had also picked up the family dog and slammed him down hard on a trunk. The victim thought he (defendant) had killed the dog but he had apparently only injured the animal.”
The report further stated, “The defendant also had grabbed the phone from the victim in an attempt to prevent her from calling the police and then fled the residence.”
Duane faces three charges including two felonies and a misdemeanor.
According to court documents, Duane is being charged for allegedly:
Interfering with electronic communications causing injury or death—which carries a four-year prison sentence and/or $5,000;
Domestic violence, which would have been a 93-day in jail and/or $500 fine, but the fact that, if found guilty, this would be his third offense, which makes it potentially a two-year prison sentence and/or a $2,500 fine;
And, count three is for alleged abandoning or cruelty to one animal, which is a misdemeanor that carries up to 93 days in jail, $1,000, up to 200 hours of community service or any combination of penalties, discretionary consecutive sentencing; may order psychiatric evaluation; may order costs of care, housing or veterinary care, as applicable; and may be ordered not to own or possess an animal.
Duane Tripp has been arraigned in Charlevoix district court.
His pre-trial has been scheduled for Dec. 4.