Judge orders no contact between mother, daughter after 6th felony

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:07 am on Friday, March 16, 2012

Catherine Grace

STANTON — A judge denied a mother’s pleas to keep her daughter out of prison, saying the mother was partly to blame for her daughter’s life of crime.

Catherine Grace, 38, of Swartz Creek, was charged with identity theft, larceny in a building and possession of marijuana. She pleaded guilty to larceny in a building and was sentenced Thursday to one to four years in prison with credit for 67 days already served in the Montcalm County Jail.

Grace stole her mother’s purse, identification cards and other items on Jan. 8 at her mother’s home in Sidney Township. The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post responded to the scene after Grace’s mother, Karen McFarland, called the police.

McFarland told Judge David Hoort on Thursday that she had only called the police to get help for her daughter’s drug problem.

“Really, that’s pretty stiff to send her to prison,” McFarland said. “If she goes to prison, she can’t be with her daughter.”

Hoort noted this crime was Grace’s sixth felony. The judge said Grace said her mother introduced her to alcohol and drugs at a young age. McFarland denied this and said she’s never drank alcohol her entire life.

“I don’t believe you,” Hoort replied.

McFarland muttered a response underneath her breath and yelled something at a courtroom deputy before sitting back down in 8th Judicial Circuit Court.

Grace tearfully begged the judge to keep her out of prison, saying she is currently participating in helpful programs offered by the Montcalm County Jail.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and I’m very, very sorry for what I did,” Grace said. “I don’t feel like prison is going to benefit me at this point.”

Hoort imposed a prison sentence anyway, saying jail sentences haven’t worked for Grace in the past. He also ordered Grace not to have any contact with her mother.

“It appears to me that you need to be done with your mom until she makes some changes,” the judge said.

Grace and McFarland were previously convicted of breaking into a home together and stealing a handgun.

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