Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 7:40 a.m. EST
HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan college professor whose severely autistic 16-year-old son drowned in an icy backyard pool has been ordered to trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge. A judge ruled Thursday that Timothy Koets should stand trial for the more serious charge he faced in the March death of 16-year-old Samuel Koets. She expects to decide later on whether second-degree child abuse charges on which he was arraigned should be included. Authorities say Timothy Koets left his son outside when he went to work, while the mother, Michelle Koets, slept inside after working a shift as a nurse. Timothy Koets’ lawyer says his client didn’t leave the boy unattended and his death was “tragic accident.”
ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) — A 59-year-old Michigan man who says he robbed a business so he could return to prison could be locked up for he rest of his life. Mark Wilson was sentenced this week to at least 25 years in prison for armed robbery and he’ll be in his 80s when he’s eligible for parole. Police say Wilson, from Portage, gave a note to a Hardee’s employee in Escanaba last July, indicating that he was robbing the restaurant. He waited in a restroom until police arrived. Wilson told a judge that he’s “lost the ability to function normally with society.”
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — With Christmas less than two weeks away, finding the perfect tree might take some searching. The availability of real Christmas trees is tight across the United States, especially for procrastinators looking for a certain type of tree. But industry officials say everyone who wants a tree should be able to find one, they just might have to pay a little more. Merchant Sandy Parsons of Charleston, West Virginia, says she never got her order for 350 trees from a North Carolina farm, citing short supply. But local seller Robert Cole, whose business supplies its own trees, has never been busier.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Students who said they suffered because of how Michigan State University handled complaints of sexual assault have lost a key court decision. A federal appeals court ruled in favor of MSU. The court says the female students didn’t show that Michigan State was deliberately indifferent to their initial complaints and that they suffered additional harassment as a result. The alleged incidents preceded the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State. The school promised in September to make substantial changes to how it follows Title IX, a federal law forbidding discrimination based on gender in education.