Sentence Handed Down in Michigan Pickle-Assault Case

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Only a few tantalizing details have emerged to date about the circumstances of this crime, but it is clear that it involved (1) a home invasion, (2) a repeat offender, and (3) pickles.

Bobby Lee Bolen of Buchanan, Michigan, was sentenced on Monday to almost 60 days in jail and one year of probation, after he apparently pleaded guilty to "third-offense home invasion."  This stems from an August incident in which he broke into a house, "got into an argument and threw two large pickles" at the residents.  According to the article, police said it was actually an argument over the pickles, but again, details were not available.

The actual size of the "large pickles" was not reported, but Bolen was actually charged with two counts of assault based on the pickle-flinging, so presumably there was at least some risk involved (although that would not be legally necessary to charge him with assault, I suppose).  Bolen was also charged with home invasion and "cutting or interfering with phone lines," which was not explained but which he may have done in order to isolate his targets and prevent them from calling for help when the gherkins began to fly.

The phone-line and assault charges seem to have been dropped as a result of a plea bargain, but Bolen was sentenced on the home-invasion charge.  He was given credit for time served and so will not do any additional time.

"If this is not the silliest case I’ve ever seen in this courtroom," said Judge Scott Schofield, "it certainly is in the top ten."  (Judge Schofield, if you happen to read this,  I would very much like to know about the ones that were sillier.)  But, he said, "[t]he fact that it’s silly doesn’t mean that it’s not serious."  It doesn’t?

The prosecutor who brought Bolen to justice, Kelly Travis, called the situation "needless," and seemed to still be confused as to why it had happened at all.  "Maybe [Mr. Bolen] can get to the bottom of why he would commit a felony over pickles," Travis said.  He suggested that "anger management" might be in order.

Defense attorney Robert Lutz said alcohol might have played a role.

Link: Detroit Free Press