Two Ishpeming men now await sentencing after being convicted in their torture and kidnapping trial. The jury came back with a verdict late Tuesday night, and ABC 10 senior reporter Mike Hoey has the details.
Jason Sadowski and Charles Cope could go to prison for life. They’ve both been convicted of two counts of torture and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Sadowski was also convicted by himself of solicitation of murder and two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese says the victims’ families were relieved that the case has ended and that healing can begin.
“There were about 20 people (in the gallery when the verdict was read) that were either with the victims or the victims’ families,” he said. “They were very impressed with the jury, and one of them said that even regardless of the result, it was obvious that the jury put a lot of time and effort into working through the charges.”
Wiese told them that he was confident in their case but that, regardless of the outcome, they would feel overwhelming emotion when the verdict was read.
“We had a strong case,” he said. “I think the Ishpeming City Police Department, in particular Chief (Dan) Willey, did an excellent job investigating, but you just never know if a jury will interpret the evidence the same way as you do.”
Among other things, Wiese argued that to be guilty of solicitation of murder, you don’t have to offer someone goods or services that can be easily defined by a price tag. Michigan law says any offer of anything of value in exchange for a promise to kill another person is solicitation of murder. Wiese’s argument was that in this case, the thing of value was Victim 1’s life.
“She was told that she needed to kill the other victim if she wanted to get out of the situation,” Wiese said. “I know the defense argued that that did not fit the statute. We disagreed, and obviously the jury agreed with us on this.”
Sadowski’s attorney, Timothy Quinnell, and Cope’s attorney, Karl Numinen, both declined to speak on camera. Quinnell did tell us he and Sadowski are disappointed in the verdict, but they respect the jury’s decision.
Sadowski and Cope have not had a sentencing date scheduled yet. Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi will decide the lengths of their prison terms.