A Boyne City man was sentenced today, Friday Nov. 13, to prison for shooting an AK-47 in the direction of a woman and her vehicle.
Richard Lee France II, 51, received 40 to 60 months in prison for his actions on July 27, 2015 in Wilson Township.
France became angry while intoxicated and fired his weapon to “get his point across” because his victim “wouldn’t listen, she never does” according to his sworn testimony at his plea hearing on October 16.
Ten police officers from four different agencies – Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department, Boyne City Police Department, East Jordan Police Department and the Michigan State Police responded. France’s actions resulted in a one-hour standoff with police and Boyne City EMS blocking all roads in and out of the area.
France was inside his home and during the standoff a sheriff’s deputy spoke to France by phone and France reportedly told him, “This isn’t going to end well…I got plenty of guns…Why don’t you come up here and see what happens?” France also stated that he could “pick off” officers “like chickens.”
Officer Dan Reece of the East Jordan Police Department later spoke with France over the phone and convinced him to surrender without incident.
The sentencing guidelines, which are now merely advisory in Michigan, called for a minimum sentence range of 14 to 29 months in prison. Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney asked the court to exceed these guidelines and give the maximum sentence of 40 to 60 months.
33rd Circuit Judge Roy C. Hayes III agreed and cited France’s repeated victimization of others, his threats to others who were not present at the time of the shooting and the fact that his actions terrorized his victim as justification for the sentence.