Trial delayed, charges added in larceny case

HOUGHTON – The Houghton County Circuit Court trial of a man charged with stealing from a Michigan Technological University locker will be delayed to accommodate new charges.

Gordon Lewis, 21, of Dollar Bay, appeared for a pretrial hearing Friday. He was scheduled to stand trial starting Monday on larceny in a building, a four-year felony.

Lewis was accused of stealing a wallet from a locker at the Student Development Complex in 2011. The wallet’s owner estimated up to $350 was taken from two accounts.

Lewis faces one charge of obstruction of justice, a five-year felony; a breaking and entering charge related to the larceny charge, a 10-year felony; and charges relating to the theft and misuse of a gift card, both four-year felonies.

Prosecutor Michael Makinen said the new charges arise from the same circumstances as the original charge. The breaking and entering charge is probably required to be joined to the first charge, Makinen said. While the alleged misuse of the gift card took place at another location, it came out of the SDC incident and took place within three hours afterward, Makinen said.

“There’s a case now out of the Court of Appeals that says a gift card is the same as a credit card,” Makinen said after the hearing. “You can’t have someone else’s card, you can’t use someone else’s card, without permission.”

The case had first been postponed so another charge facing Lewis could be resolved. Last July, he faced trial for safebreaking connected to an October 2011 attempt to break into a bank ATM; it ended in a mistrial. In October, he was sentenced to time served for attempted safebreaking, a five-year felony.