Archived Story

Stand-off suspect could serve life in prison

Published 12:09am Thursday, February 23, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — A Niles man who surrendered to police after a 14-hour standoff southeast of Edwardsburg on Monday is facing the possibility of life in prison for his actions.

Michael Ray Long was arraigned Wednesday in Cass County Fourth District Court on 14 felony accounts, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree home invasion and unlawful imprisonment.

Judge Stacey Rentfrow set Long’s bond at $300,000 cash.

Cass County Prosecutor Fitz asked the court to deny bond due on the extreme nature of the charges and the potential risk Long could pose on the community.

Fitz said Long allegedly broke into his ex-wife’s home in Edwardsburg Monday morning. Then, using a loaded gun, he forced the victim to take off her clothes and perform sexual acts on him without her permission.

“She was so fearful that she ran out of the house naked in freezing temperatures to escape her home,” Fitz said.

When police arrived shortly before noon, Long barricaded himself in the residence and threatened to use the gun, primarily on himself, Fitz said. Long eventually surrendered to police around 11:30 p.m. Monday. Fitz said police had to force Long from the home using tear gas and other measures.

“He endangered dozens of individuals in our community, police officers and other individuals that live in the area by being in the house with a gun,” Fitz said.

Fitz said Long and his ex-wife recently divorced. Since the divorce, Fitz said, Long showed violent behavior toward his ex-wife, including at one point breaking into her residence and smearing fecal matter throughout the residence.

A pre-exam hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. March 6.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a penalty of life or any number of years in prison. First-degree home invasion carries a penalty of 20 years and unlawful imprisonment a penalty of 15 years.

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