Man with dozens of prior convictions imprisoned on drug charges

Carey Chapman, left, stands during his sentencing hearing Friday in 35th Circuit Court in Corunna.

CORUNNA — An Owosso man with a record that included 34 previous misdemeanors and three prior felonies was sentenced to prison Friday for drug possession by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart.

Carey Chapman, 35, was sentenced to one year, five months to four years in prison for one count of possession of cocaine and one count of possession of analogues, and ordered to pay court costs and fines. Chapman was credited with 162 days served.

“With 34 misdemeanors and three felonies, I’m sorry this happened to you as a child,” Stewart said. “I really am. But I have to protect the community. There’s no way this court will allow you to participate in a treatment program with your record. Your record doesn’t reflect that you have any indication of wanting to change.”

Stewart said because of Chapman’s prior record, he could not sentence him to a diversion program, and noted Chapman also had eight parole violations and had absconded one time.

Chapman was arrested June 6 for an incident that occurred in September 2018. Records do not indicate the reason for the delay in charges being filed.

At his arraignment before 66th District Court Judge Ward Clarkson, Chapman pleaded not guilty. He has been lodged in the Shiawassee County jail while awaiting disposition of the charges.

Friday, defense counsel David Raleigh told the court his client began using drugs at the age of 12, and asked for a term of incarceration in jail, where Chapman has been able to maintain sobriety, something he couldn’t do in prison. Chapman served four years, five months in prison for a previous felony conviction, and was paroled in 2017.

“We went to the same school,” Raleigh said. “I saw him change throughout the years. He fell into a lifestyle of drugs he hasn’t escaped from. The way he describes prison, it’s a place that connects him with more people and things that encourage a criminal lifestyle and more drugs.”

Assistant prosecutor Adam Masserang said Chapman’s previous record primarily consists of retail fraud convictions, which indicate he was stealing to support a drug habit.

“I’m not sure Mr. Chapman has passed by a retail store without taking something from it,” Masserang said. “If all of his prior jail terms and incarceration haven’t gotten through to him that he should probably seek another path, I’m not sure another jail term would accomplish that.”

Chapman described his prior prison term, telling Stewart it didn’t help him.

“I don’t think I benefit from prison,” Chapman said. “I’ve been a drug addict since I was 12 years old. I’ve never had the chance at rehab. I’m sick of this. I want to apologize to the court. Every time I got high and came to jail, every time I was high. I apologize to my family for me being here. I really want some help. What I’m doing at 35 isn’t working.”

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