There has been another delay in the Mitch Lyons case out of Jackson County.
Lyons, a Michigan State University Trustee whose term ends this year, is not seeking re-election. He is the subject of a police report taken Sunday, December 3, 2017 at Grass Lake Middle School following the end of a basketball game in which Lyons participated as a coach.
The assistant prosecutor has delayed the pre-trial conference another week, to March 14. I asked local attorney John Fraser to look through the police report. He offered the following analysis:
A battery is a non-consensual intentional touching that is forceful, violent, or offensive, and an assault is an action that puts a person in immediate fear of a battery. A push or shove is going to meet that definition. The charge of assault and battery is a 93 day misdemeanor and is the lowest assaultive crime that we have in Michigan.
I think the prosecutor is going to have some issues in proving this case beyond a reasonable doubt. There’s always (at least) 2 sides to every story, and typically the police report only captures one of those sides. I suspect Mr. Lyons will have a very different description of the events. I would also suspect that his counsel has retained a private investigator to interview other witnesses, such as possibly other coaches on the team, parents of athletes, etc. to obtain statements to assist in building the case for trial or to assist with plea bargaining.
Oftentimes, if defense attorneys obtain witness statements that illustrate that the prosecutor’s case has issues of proof, we will turn those over to the prosecutor so that they can have a detective or other police officer interview those witnesses as well.
Obviously, I haven’t been involved in any of the plea negotiations — and I don’t have any of the information that the defense is privy to — but if Mr. Lyons doesn’t have any prior criminal history, I would advise him to take his chances at trial if there’s not a plea offer that avoids a criminal conviction. If the options are plead guilty to a misdemeanor or take the case to trial, you might as well take the case to trial because you really don’t have anything to lose.”
The Grass Lake Schools superintendent has indicated that there is no video footage from inside the gym.
I have reached out to Lyons several times with no response.
Here is the redacted police report: