Ishpeming kidnapping & torture trial begins

Jason David Sadowski

Jason David Sadowski

The two Ishpeming men charged in a kidnapping and torture case have now gone to trial.

Jason Sadowski and Charles Cope are accused of abducting two women last July. They’re also accused of holding the women captive in the basement of The Martial Way, which is Sadowski’s mixed martial arts studio. One of the two alleged victims has since died.

Jury selection got underway this morning, and cameras are not allowed to be present while it’s in progress. One prospective juror was dismissed for knowing the mother of one of the alleged victims.

Because of Sadowski’s studio, many people in the jury pool were questioned about their opinion of mixed martial arts competitions such as UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Many of them said they don’t like UFC, with one mentioning a desire to have the sport outlawed.

Charles Leroy Cope

Charles Leroy Cope

Sadowski and Cope are both accused of two counts of torture and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Sadowski is also charged with two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and one count each of solicitation of murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Both men have ‘habitual offender — fourth offense’ status attached. They could face life in prison if convicted.