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I-Team obtains new video in ongoing case

Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 |
I-Team obtains new video in ongoing case  story image
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Newschannel 3’s I-Team has uncovered new information in a case we’ve been following out of Van Buren County for months.

A jury has made a decision on a controversial court case involving an attorney from Kent County who alleges he had bogus criminal charges filed against him in Van Buren County.

Attorney Donovan Visser was charged with misdemeanor assault back in May after he barged into the business he thought he had a right to repossess.

The assault case went to trial recently and ended in a hung jury. We have learned that Visser will be tried again on the same charge.

On Monday the I-Team obtained video recorded by Visser’s client Bob Baker, video that Visser and Baker say should raise questions about why taxpayers are paying for trials.

The video we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act shows a scene that is certainly chaotic at times.

In the video you can see Visser arguing with employees of a company called ELC located in Antwerp Township.

Visser, with his client Baker, armed with a court order are trying to pick up documents and other materials as part of a repossession to pay off a debt.

Ultimately a deputy arrived and took reports from everyone involved. In that report one employee insisted to the deputy that she was shoved by Visser.

Based on that evidence the Van Buren County prosecuting attorney charged Visser with assault and trespassing and his client Baker with trespassing.

Ultimately all the charges were dismissed or thrown out, except Visser’s assault charge which went to trial and ended in a hung jury.

Over the summer Visser and Baker told the I-Team that they thought the charges against them were retribution for questioning the integrity of Circuit Court Judge Paul Hamre, who is currently under investigation by the Attorney Grievance Commission for his handling of Baker and Visser’s civil repossession case.

You may remember that the I-Team obtained an audio recording that Baker and Visser recorded over the phone, a recording they contend proves that Judge Hamre acted unethically, among several other allegations.

They say the judge made a derogatory remark against Donovan Visser.

As for the criminal charges, Baker says the evidence shows the situation is bogus. Baker points to the deputy’s review of the incident in a report. Which reads in part;

“I reviewed the videos that were downloaded from this phone and did not find anything criminal in nature although I did notice several subjects inside of the ELC putting their hands on Visser as he marched around the inside of the office trying to remove paperwork.”

Baker also points to the fact that video shows employees shoving Visser yet those employees were not charged with a crime.

Van Buren County Prosecutor Mike Bedford again defended his office’s decision to move forward with the trial and perhaps a retrial of Visser on a misdemeanor charge, saying he would never go to trial against someone he didn’t think was guilty.

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