Woman sentenced for thefts, bad jail behavior

ESCANABA — A Wilson woman who pleaded guilty to attempting to steal more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from two stores in Escanaba was sentenced to a year in jail Monday in Delta County Circuit Court.

Veronica Mae Williams, 27, and co-defendants Manitoubani Wandahsega, 34, and Melissa Rose Meshigaud-Ritchie, 36, were arrested by Escanaba Public Safety in December in connection with the theft of security systems and miscellaneous merchandise from Menards and Dunhams Sports.

Police said the three removed items from the stores through doors that were locked from the outside but not the inside. The incidents occurred in December.

On Monday, Judge John Economopoulos ordered Williams to the 12-month jail sentence on one count of attempted retail fraud, first degree.

The sentencing went above and beyond the three-month maximum misdemeanor due to her behavior in jail; she was charged with assault in the jail and she also attempted to bring drugs into the jail, said Economopoulos, who advised her to seek substance abuse treatment.

Williams was given credit for 109 days already served in jail. She was also ordered to pay $1,028 in fines and costs and $2,399 in restitution.

Wandahsega was sentenced in circuit court in April to two concurrent prison sentences of three years to up to 10 years on two counts of first-degree retail fraud as a third offense habitual offender.

Wandahsega was given credit for 108 days served in jail and was ordered to pay $266 in fines and costs. He is currently incarcerated at a correctional facility downstate.

In February, Meshigaud-Ritchie pleaded guilty to conspiracy to first-degree retail fraud, a five-year felony, but failed to appear for her April 24 sentencing in circuit court and was charged with contempt of court. All three defendants were ordered to have no contact with one another.