Woman who used late boyfriend’s funds on trial

The 35th Circuit Court room is seen in this Wednesday photo during the trial of Stacy Stier, left, who faces charge of illegal possession of a financial transaction device.

CORUNNA — Stacy Stier, who is accused of using her deceased boyfriend’s debit card for “rent and bills,” is on trial in 35th Circuit Court on multiple felony counts related to the alleged misuse of the funds.

Her trial is expected to continue today with closing arguments, and possibly the case will be sent to the jury.

Stier, of Owosso, who is charged with felony possession of a financial transaction device, testified Wednesday that then-boyfriend Kyle Barlage died of a heroin overdose at their residence in August 2017.

Stier was charged by Aug. 28, 2019, but was not arrested until Sept. 22, 2019. She was arraigned in 66th District Court before Judge Terrance Dignan and pleaded not guilty. Court records do not indicate the amount of bond, but Stier has been free while awaiting disposition of the case.

In Michigan, illegal credit card possession is punishable by up to four years in prison and restitution.

Tuesday, Stier said that after Barlage passed away, she continued to use his debit card to pay bills at the residence they had shared for about nine months. She ended up using approximately $600 that was in Barlage’s bank account.

“She didn’t think she was doing anything wrong,” defense attorney Adam Pfeiffer told the jury in his opening statement.

Unbeknownst to Stier, Barlage had a $25,000 life insurance policy through his employer that named her as the beneficiary. Stier testified she originally agreed to pay for the cost of Barlage’s funeral and headstone.

When Barlage’s family found out about the policy, she said their relationship with her deteriorated, and Stier testified “she was done with it,” and did not pay for any part of the funeral or headstone from the insurance payout.

Prosecutor Deana Finnegan attacked Stier’s credibility Wednesday, telling the jury Stier had spent money on tattoos, clothes and other items after Barlage’s death.

Finnegan also pointed out Stier had lied to Owosso police when they responded to the call for Barlage’s overdose. Stier first claimed she didn’t know how Barlage got the heroin that caused his death, but when police told her they would be obtaining a warrant to determine the location of her cellphone before Barlage’s death, she admitted driving him to Flint to get drugs. She denied she knew he was there to obtain heroin.

Stier also testified she was “shocked” to learn Barlage had been using heroin, adding she was concerned she could somehow be charged with a crime related to Barlage’s death.

Stier has no prior criminal history in Shiawassee County. She has been sued in one civil action, and has one minor traffic-related citation.

(1) comment

NickyLindsay

What is interesting, is that unmarried people that reside together, the law recognizes their property as community properties. While this is slightly different since the financial institution "owns" the financial transaction device, things are murky.

What strikes me as odd, is that the prosecutor just wants to look like she is doing the deceased family a favor. The entire thing is sad.

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