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Michigan Court of Appeals: Appeal of Restitution Order - Docket No. 364303 Case Brief


PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,

Plaintiff-Appellee

v.

KHALIF PIERRE WILL BENTLEY,

Defendant-Appellant



Judges Kathleen A. Feeney, Michelle M. Rick, and Noah P. Hood (opinion by Hood).



Legal Issues:

  • sufficiency of evidence supporting the trial court’s restitution order, particularly whether the evidence provided a reasonably certain factual foundation for the restitution amount, thus rendering it speculative.

  • This issue is framed within the context of due process, questioning whether the restitution order was supported by adequate facts in the record and if it imposed an invalid sentence based on inaccurate information.

  • Specifically, the appeal challenges the inclusion of medical debts in the restitution amount, considering whether those debts were covered by insurance or forgiven by the healthcare provider, and whether such considerations rendered the restitution amount speculative and violated the defendant's due process rights.



Areas of Law:

Criminal law, restitution under the Crime Victim's Rights Act and the general restitution act, due process in the context of restitution orders.



Armed Robbery Crime Scene
Criminal Law

Case Summary:

  • The case involves Khalif Pierre Will Bentley's appeal of a restitution order following his involvement in an armed robbery. Bentley, along with four co-defendants, was held jointly and severally liable for a restitution amount of $156,849.54,

  • related to the victim Hunter Lutz's medical debt. The appeal questioned the sufficiency of evidence supporting the actual loss for restitution, challenging the inclusion of medical debts covered by insurance or potentially forgiven by healthcare providers.

  • The court analyzed the statutes entitling crime victims to restitution, emphasizing the necessity of actual, non-speculative loss for restitution orders and highlighting the procedural allowance for amending restitution orders based on new information.



Lower Court(s) Name(s) and treatment:

Berrien Circuit Court, LC No. 2019-000264-FC, where the restitution order was issued.



Fact Pattern:

  • In November 2018, Bentley and his co-defendants traveled from Chicago to Benton Harbor, Michigan, for an armed robbery aimed at stealing marijuana.

  • During the robbery, a co-defendant shot the victim, Hunter Lutz, causing significant injuries that required extensive medical treatment, including ten surgeries.

  • Lutz incurred a substantial medical bill from Lakeland Health Hospital and a debt to Sun Coast Anesthesiology, which were considered in the restitution order.



Ruling:

The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's restitution order, rejecting Bentley's arguments about the speculative nature of the restitution amount and emphasizing the statutory foundation for the decision.



"Whether the Court Got it Right...":

The court's decision aligns with statutory requirements for restitution under the Crime Victim's Rights Act and the general restitution statute, properly interpreting the necessity for actual, non-speculative losses and the mechanism for modifying restitution orders based on new information, thus upholding procedural due process.




Cases Cited:

  1. People v Garrison, 495 Mich 362, 368; 852 NW2d 45 (2014)

  2. People v McKinley, 496 Mich 410, 421; 852 NW2d 770 (2014)

  3. People v Corbin, 312 Mich App 362 (quotation marks and citations omitted)

  4. People v Lee, 314 Mich App 266, 272-277; 886 NW2d 185 (2016)

  5. People v Dimoski, 286 Mich App 474, 481; 780 NW2d 896 (2009)

  6. People v Fawaz, 299 Mich App 55, 65; 829 NW2d 259 (2012)

  7. In re White, 330 Mich App 476, 483; 948 NW2d 643 (2019)

  8. Wayne Co Prosecutor v Parole Bd, 210 Mich App 148, 156; 532 NW2d 899 (1995)

  9. Kloian v Schwartz, 272 Mich App 232, 243; 725 NW2d 671 (2006)

  10. People v Washpun, 175 Mich App 420, 425-426; 438 NW2d 305 (1989)

  11. People v Hawkins, 245 Mich App 439, 457; 628 NW2d 105 (2001)

  12. J & J Constr Co v Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Local 1, 468 Mich 722, 734; 664 NW2d 728 (2003)

  13. People v Duncan, 494 Mich 713, 723; 835 NW2d 399 (2013)

  14. People v Cross, 281 Mich App 737, 739; 760 NW2d 314 (2008)

  15. People v Foster, 319 Mich App 365, 374; 901 NW2d 127 (2017)

Michigan Compiled Laws Cited:

Michigan Court Rules Cited:

Additional Authorities Cited:


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