BARTON CITY, MI – An Alcona County man plead guilty on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 to five felonies and is expected to be sentenced to substantial time in prison for domestic violence, witness tampering and his attempting to interfere with the charges against him.
Richard Coutts Jr., 43-years-old, will serve prison time as a habitual offender by pleading guilty to:
- domestic violence, his third offense, resulting in a minimum of four years and maximum of 15 years in prison;
- assault with a dangerous weapon, resulting in a minimum of four years and maximum of 15 years in prison;
- witness tampering, resulting in a minimum of four and maximum of 10 years in prison;
- malicious use of telecommunications, resulting in credit for time serviced, which is approximately four months; and
- obstructing and resisting a police officer, resulting in a minimum of two and maximum of 15 years in prison.
Additional charges including unlawful imprisonment and domestic violence were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Late last year, Coutts allegedly held a woman at knifepoint for multiple hours and threatened to kill her while admittedly high on meth, cocaine and heroin. A second and similar incident happened shortly after the new year.
He was arrested January 5th, 2021 on those allegations in Oscoda Township. Once transported to the Alcona County Jail, Coutts became violent toward correction officers and law enforcement officers.
The defendant attempted to break the window of the jail tank with the handcuffs as they were being taken off, resisted being placed in a restraint chair after attempting to break the window, and spit on an officer once restrained.
For the following two months, Coutts, despite being told to have no contact with the victim, called, texted and wrote letters from jail—including nearly 1,200 messages sent between Jan. 5 and Feb. 9 through the Alcona County Jail’s texting system.
“This plea agreement shows the dedicated work being done by the Department to uphold the law and achieve justice,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
Based on records from the Michigan Department of Corrections, Richard Coutts has spent time in prison for:
- Assault with Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault)
- Animals – Killing/Torturing
Coutts is scheduled for sentencing June 8 at 9:30 a.m. The sentences will run concurrent.