PEOPLE OF MI V TERESE KEGLERAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
September 15, 2005
Wayne Circuit Court
LC No. 04-000886-02
Official Reported Version
Before: Cooper, P.J., and Bandstra and Kelly, JJ.
COOPER, P.J. (dissenting).
I must respectfully dissent from the majority opinion of my colleagues. I would find that
the trial court improperly assessed 50 points for offense variable (OV) 7, aggravated physical
Pursuant to MCL 777.37(1)(a), OV 7 is scored at 50 points when "[a] victim was treated
with sadism, torture, or excessive brutality or conduct designed to substantially increase the fear
and anxiety a victim suffered during the offense."1 Defendant's conduct was appalling and
callous. However, I do not agree that it amounted to torture or excessive brutality, as opposed to
the conduct of her codefendant.2 The statute specifically defines "sadism" as "conduct that
subjects a victim to extreme or prolonged pain or humiliation and is inflicted to produce
suffering or for the offender's gratification."3 Accepting the literal language of the statute and
See People v Wilson, 265 Mich App 386, 398; 695 NW2d 351 (2005) (finding a score of 50
points appropriate where "[t]he victim's testimony detailed a brutal attack, which took place over
several hours, involving being attacked by weapons and being kicked, punched, slapped, and
choked numerous times, ending in injuries requiring treatment in a hospital," followed by a
lengthy recovery period); People v Hornsby, 251 Mich App 468, 469; 650 NW2d 700 (2002)
(finding "terrorism" where the defendant held a shift supervisor at gunpoint while he cocked the
gun and repeatedly threatened the lives of the supervisor and her employees).
MCL 777.37(3). Defendant stated that her intent in placing Mr. Wilson's body outside was to
humiliate him. However, there is no indication that she experienced any gratification from this
behavior. The gratification referenced in this statute comes from watching someone suffer.
the definition it provides, as mandated by the Michigan Supreme Court,4 a victim must actually
experience pain or humiliation in order to have been treated with sadism.
A victim must be alive and conscious to have fear and anxiety, to be subjected to pain or
humiliation, or to suffer. The evidence clearly shows that Mr. Wilson was unconscious and,
undoubtedly, already dead when defendant and Mr. Brantley left his body outside and when they
placed him in defendant's trunk. The medical examiner testified that Mr. Wilson would have lost
consciousness within 90 seconds of being strangled and would have died within three to five
minutes. Defendant was uncertain whether she felt Mr. Wilson's pulse when she and Mr.
Brantley placed his body outside, or whether she heard Mr. Wilson grunt when they placed his
body in her trunk. However, defendant definitively asserted that Mr. Wilson never regained
consciousness. Therefore, I would find that the trial court could not properly base defendant's
score on these acts.
Reducing defendant's offense variable score by 50 points would place her at offense
variable level I. The recommended minimum sentencing range for a defendant in offense
variable level I and prior record variable level A is 7-1/2 to 12-1/2 years.5 As defendant's
minimum sentence of 15 years would exceed the corrected sentencing range, I would remand for
/s/ Jessica R. Cooper
However, a corpse no longer suffers. Obviously, there is a prohibition against desecrating a dead
body in this state, MCL 750.160, but that behavior is not of the type contemplated under this
Elezovic v Ford Motor Co, 472 Mich 408, 419 n 16; 697 NW2d 851 (2005); People v Morey,
461 Mich 325, 330; 603 NW2d 250 (1999).
MCL 769.34(3); People v Babcock, 469 Mich 247, 256-257; 666 NW2d 231 (2003).