Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chris Pratt Guilty on all charges, No bond, Remanded back to jail, Sentencing in January

August 20, 2007- Mr. Pratt’s attorney appeared today for a motion hearing in Calhoun County Circuit Court asking that the charges against Christopher Pratt be dismissed. He also presented a motion for a bond reduction on the defendant. Mr. Pratt was present for the hearing after being escorted into court by a deputy sheriff. Three members of the Pratt family were also present in court.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Buscher represented the people. After a 20 minute hearing Judge Stephen B. Miller denied the defense request to quash any of the charges, and further denied reduction of the $75,000.00 bond. Mr. Pratt was then returned to the Calhoun County Correctional Facility.

After a preliminary examination July 2, 2007 Mr. Pratt was bound over on another 15-year felony count involving Criminal Sexual Conduct and remains lodged in the Calhoun County Jail. The bond on this charge was initially set at $50,000.00 and it was not reduced. The total bond with the other four charges of False Imprisonment, Felonious Assault, Interfering with Electronic Communications Device (Telephone), and Domestic Violence is now $75,000.00. Mr. Pratt faces a maximum of 38 years in prison and fines. He was previously bound over on the other charges on July 2, 2007.

Chris Pratt, Preliminary Exam, 07/02/2007

Chris Pratt Arrested, WOOD-TV, 06/25/2007

To paraphrase Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong, "Today was one small step for one battered woman and our criminal justice system; one giant leap for the family of Mary Denise Lands"

Many people were critical of our decision to remove the YouTube video of Mr. Pratt's former girl-friend taking Mary’s signs and of our action to drop legal efforts against her in District Court for a small claims case. We have maintained all along that she has been yet another victim of domestic violence and for Mother Day’s 2007 we decided to take down the video. We believed that we made our point in documenting the loss of Mary’s signs in that video, which was seen by over 23,000 viewers.

We have not been able to comment for five weeks because of a safety issue related to her safety and that of her family, however anyone who is cognizant of what occurs in domestic violence obviously knew what was really going on during that Mother’s Day weekend. Unfortunately, it is up to the victim to follow through with any actions and seek available recourse in the courts with options such as a Personal Protection Order (PPO). In May, I fully documented that she was a victim of severe domestic violence, however she did not wish to take any action and believed she could handle the situation herself. How many women have made this same wrong conclusion? How many women have been injured and even killed at the hands of a physical abuser? People can be willing to help a victim, but it is up to that victim to decide how to handle their life in a domestic violence situation. They either accept it, or reject it.

On June 24, 2007 it became a public record when the Michigan State Police responded to the Pratt residence on 15 ½ Mile Road in Marshall, Michigan (Fredonia Township) on another complaint of domestic violence by his girl-friend. In May she did not call the Marshall Police Departent. She called me and asked for help which I was glad to offer. However, she then made a decision to return to a residence occupied by Mr Pratt where she and her children have lived in fear. I have not heard from her since Mother’s Day, but she again asked for help this weekend. The Marshall family and I will continue to do what we can to assist her family.

It is now alleged that on June 24, 2007 his former girl-friend was assaulted, her telephone was ripped from the wall, and the interior of the residence was severely trashed. When the police responded her boy-friend, Christopher Pratt had fled. Several hours later he was located and he is now lodged in the Calhoun County Correctional Facility being held without bail.

June 25, 2007- Mr. Pratt was arraigned this afternoon on four criminal counts Bail was set at $250,000.00. A preliminary examination is now scheduled for July 2, 2007 at 11:30 A.M, at the Criminal Justice Center. Mr. Marshall was present in the court with numerous friends and supporters and feels confident that Mary's case will soon be resolved. We urge anyone with additional information to come forward.

It is truly ironic that on June 24th when Mr. Pratt's girl-friend was on the phone asking for help, that at nearly the same hour a man in Canton, Ohio had just been arrested for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. This individual, although employed as a police-officer, was a known perpetrator of domestic violence on women in his life. Now, it is alleged now that this recent victim, and her unborn child have been murdered. People who physically abuse others do not change and that is why victims must immediately break away from these violent relationships.

We believe that Mr. Pratt's former girlfriend has now finally made a permanent decision to stop being physically and emotionally abused. There are many people who are willing to assist her family. Numerous social service agencies and the courts in Calhoun County can keep her family safe. We only hope that this time she will make a commitment not only to herself, but also to her children, that she will never ever again be a victim of domestic violence. She has the potential to talk about the tragedy of physical and emotional abuse and how it affects the entire family. One day this woman will be strong and confident enough to be an advocate for domestic violence and her own experiences will help protect others.

If anyone has information on associates of Mr. Pratt or other individuals related to the Mary Lands investigation you are urged to contact law enforcement authorities and/or the Marshall family. Someone out there can provide that final piece of information to bring Mary home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A 2007 Father's Day Plea to Bring Home his Daughter

June 17, 2007- Another Father’s Day has come and gone with no sign of our beloved daughter.
Another year of heartache, another year of crying ourselves to sleep. Over 3 years now, and 39 long, lonely months since Mary disappeared without her smile to brighten our days and her laughter to warm our hearts.
Have you ever had a child disappear without a trace? I can tell you it is the most gut-wrenching sinking feeling you could ever imagine. Wondering what happened to her or what nightmare she endured on that fateful night 39 months ago? We learned too late that Mary was a severe victim of domestic violence. If only we’d known, we could have whisked her away to safety and protected her from an ultimate death on that fateful night.
Many of you are aware how crucial an initial investigation is into finding a missing person. A strong multi-jurisdictional task force effort must commence immediately. That point was proven last week in the case of the woman missing from the parking lot of a store in Kansas. Even though Mary’s investigation was not handled properly, we still seek your help in finding my daughter by providing information to fill in the pieces of this tragic puzzle. We plead to you to help us.
We know the only way to solve this mystery, bring justice for Mary and put the murderers away forever is for good citizens like you to provide us the information to bring her home. Without her body, we can’t lay her to rest and have a proper burial. We plead for your help in finding Mary.
We want to say thank you to our investigator, Jim Carlin of Justinian Investigative Services who has tirelessly donated his time and resources. Jim has followed up on every lead, every scrap of evidence available to him and sincerely listened to those who have provided us valuable information.
We also want to say thank you to the citizens of Marshall who have given us hope, love and comfort during this horrible ordeal. We couldn’t go on without you.
Clifford Marshall

2007 marks the 4th Father’s Day that Cliff Marshall and his family have endured the tragedy of Mary’s disappearance. Lets make this the last one without answers to their questions, Where is Mary? and, When will we have justice for Mary?
More and more people are coming forward and providing us information and we soon will bring Mary home as a result of assistance from good citizens in the community. In August, we will hold a motorcycle benefit run on behalf of public awareness for Mary Denise Lands. It will be a 55-mile "Ride for Mary" and already people are signing up for the event. Ball Joint - Godfather’s Pizza, Atlas Sales-(Anheuser-Busch) and other businesses in Battle Creek are helping the family as well as hundreds of other friends and supporters. We will soon post details of the ride and we thank everyone for their help.

On Saturday, August 18, 2007 the community will see 300 motorcycles roaring through Battle Creek, Burlington and Marshall and those riders and the public will be demanding an answer to the question, Where is Mary? 2007 will be the year that Mary is brought home and the person/s responsible for her disappearance and murder will be held accountable in a court of law.
Jim Carlin