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Teen will serve time for assault

February 4, 2011
By Dionna Harris

ESCANABA - A juvenile inmate, who assaulted another inmate and a state employee at Bay Pines Center last fall, was ordered to spend one year in jail at her sentencing in Delta County Circuit Court Thursday.

Ausheika Louise Tanner, 17, was sentenced to 12 months in jail on a felony charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm for stabbing another female inmate with a butterknife at Bay Pines Oct. 1, a juvenile detention facility in Escanaba.

Tanner was also sentenced to serve 11 months in jail for assaulting a Department of Human Services employee Sept. 30. The two sentences will be served concurrently.

During Thursday's hearing before Judge Stephen Davis, Tanner appeared with her attorney, John M.A. Bergman. Bergman told the court his client had a difficult life, having grown up extremely poor. He said, while her past was not an excuse for what transpired at Bay Pines, it did help to explain why it occurred.

Bergman also said his client was remorseful for what happened with the state employee.

When presented with an opportunity to address the court before sentencing, Tanner admitted what she did was wrong. However, she disputed having told the other inmate that she was going to kill her.

"What I said was I was gonna get her. If I make a threat then I have to actually back it up," said Tanner. "I am also sorry to FIA (Family Independence Agency) for the damage I caused."

Tanner turned around in court and addressed the employee she assaulted, who was present for the sentencing. Tanner said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness. She added she was also sorry the employee was unable to work due to the incident.

Tanner told the court her time in the county jail has helped her change her entire attitude, adding she's learned she cannot get her way all the time.

"I can't control the world. I can only control myself," she said.

Following the defendant's comments to the court, Davis said Tanner had a very assaultive nature and what she did was unforgivable.

She responded, "It wasn't intentional, it's the only thing I know. I was abused my whole life and don't know any other way."

Tanner will serve the two sentences concurrently with credit for 126 days already served. She was also ordered to pay $396 in fines and costs.



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