Menominee teen sentenced to 5 years for shooting with injuries

Menominee County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Karafa, left, and Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Rogg said a five- to 20-year prison sentence was appropriate for an 18-year-old who shot and injured a Menominee man in an apparent attempt to obtain drugs. “We don’t get too many shootings here ... So this was an aberration,” Rogg said.

EagleHerald Staff Writer

MENOMINEE—Logan Race, 18, of Menominee received a reduced sentence of five to 20 years in prison Friday for shooting Menominee man Craig Walcher in the back with a pistol during an attempted marijuana robbery in December, while a judge agreed to postpone to Oct. 4 the sentencing for a then 14-year-old being held in connection with the incident in part due to a new Michigan law designed to end unjust punishment of children.

Several other felony charges against Race were dropped, including assault with intent to murder and four felony firearms counts, stemming from the Dec. 28 shooting incident.

Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Rogg called the shooting “an aberration” for this area. “We don’t get too many shootings here,” he said.

The shooting occurred around midnight Dec. 28, 2020, at Walcher’s residence at 1315 30th Ave. after Walcher allegedly attempted to sell “a bag of weed” to Race and Moxie Barke, then 14, according to documents from the Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Race didn’t have money to pay for marijuana, according to the county documents. When Walcher handed “a bag of weed” to Race, Race pulled the bag back. Race then fired a pistol several times, shooting Walcher in the back, with the bullet apparently exiting near Walcher’s armpit. Menominee Police Sgt. Andrew Bunch also observed a bullet hole in the door at Walcher’s residence. Walcher was treated for a gunshot wound at Aurora Bay Area Medical Center.

Race allegedly was accompanied by Moxie Barke, then 14, who is being held on charges of assault with intent to rob while unarmed.

In Menominee County Court Thursday, Judge Mary Barglind discussed Michigan’s new law as it might pertain to Barke. While the law takes effect Oct. 1, “it’s been written so it affects pending cases,” Barglind said.

The new “Raise the Age” law, which takes effect Oct. 1, raises to 18 from 17 the age at which a teen offender is tried as an adult in Michigan and ensures that teens under 18 in juvenile court receive rehabilitative services as outlined in the Youth Rehabilitation Services Act. The law doesn’t necessarily apply in violent crime cases.

Menominee County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Karafa said he consulted with Walcher on the agreement to give Race a reduced sentence of five to 20 years, instead of holding for the state guidelines for a minimum of nine years in prison, in part because the shooting occurred during a drug transaction involving minors.

Race’s defense attorney, Joseph Klumb, said, “He committed this act as a 17-year-old. This was a stupid act by a young man for something he didn’t even want.” Race apparently does not have a drug habit, according to courtroom testimony. “But it’s related to drugs, which was a problem in our area. It was only marijuana, but it was still a problem,” Klumb said.

“Someone was injured. It could have been worse. Thank God, it is what it is,” Klumb said. Race “has fessed up and admitted his wrong.”

Reached by phone Friday, Craig Walcher’s father, Willis Walcher, said Craig was injured “slightly” and he has “no long-lasting effects” from the injury. He described his son’s age as “about 30.”

Karafa said Race wasn’t charged with a drug crime because he didn’t get the marijuana. It apparently dropped to the ground during the shooting, and Race and Moxie left without it.

Asked by a reporter how Race obtained the pistol he used, Karafa said, “He got that gun from somebody.” It wasn’t registered to him.

Before sentencing Walcher, Judge Barglind asked Race how he felt. “I feel sorrow I put him in the danger that I did. I wish that incident had never taken place.”

Barglind addressed Race and told him, “When you made the call to purchase without the funds, you had premeditated to rob him. That was a thought-out, preplanned, premeditated act.”

“I’m thankful we don’t have a dead body here and we don’t have a murder conviction. What happens to you for the rest of your life is dependent on you and what you do” while in prison to rehabilitate.

Barglind also said the sentence of a minimum of five years to 20 years, is four years less than what state guidelines recommend for the offense. Barglind also granted 270 days as time served.