Tjapkes enters plea on breaking and entering charges
Sentencing hearing set for Dec. 9
BALDWIN — Brian Marvin Tjapkes has entered a plea in a case against him in the Lake County Trial Court for allegedly breaking into the Webber Township Hall and fire department and damaging several rooms inside.
The 42-year-old Muskegon man was arraigned and charged in October with two counts of breaking and entering a building with intent and a count of malicious destruction of a building (greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000). Tjapkes also was charged as a habitual offender, third offense.
Tjapkes entered a no contest plea to one count of breaking and entering a building with intent and being a habitual offender during a preliminary exam on Nov. 6, according to court records.
If the plea agreement is accepted by the court, the additional counts will be dismissed.
Lake County Prosecutor Craig Cooper said if the plea is accepted during Tjapkes' sentencing hearing on Dec. 9, the maximum prison sentence for the third offense felony breaking and entering charge would be 20 years.
"There was a lot of damage to the township hall and fire building," Cooper said. "We're treating this severely. It really shook the Webber Township community."
Webber Township Supervisor Ernie Wogatzke said among the items damaged during the Sept. 29 incident were a stove and refrigerator, a glass window, kitchen cabinets and an American flag, which was partially burned.
Cooper explained Tjapkes' arrest stemmed from video security footage from Webber Township.