Murder for hire at the Montcalm County Jail

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 8:52 am on Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ronald Earl Cooper

STANTON – Montcalm County Sheriff’s officials prevented an attempted murder for hire by an inmate in the Montcalm County Jail this week.

Ronald Earl Cooper, 36, of Schoolcraft, allegedly made arrangements to have a 24-year-old Kalamazoo woman killed while Cooper was in jail as a lodger from Kalamazoo County.

Cooper and the woman had been in a relationship prior to his incarceration.

Detectives learned of Cooper’s intentions and immediately began an investigation.

“We received a tip from a confidential informant who was lodged inside the jail,” said Undersheriff Mark Bellinger. “One of our detectives posed as the hitman and gathered information.”

Cooper was arraigned and charged Wednesday with solicitation of murder. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

“At no time was the woman in danger,” said Det. Sgt. Tom Goerge.

Cooper remains in jail and is being held on a $1 million bond.

“Our detectives and deputies did an excellent job,” Bellinger said. “They put a lot of work and effort into this case.”


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