Woman gets probation for cemetery assault

July 13, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Christie Rebecca Austin, 44, of Evart has been sentenced for her part in the assault of Kollin Love, 23 of Harrison on June 17, 2017.

Christie Austin

Christie Austin

She and a Gladwin man, Brett Ostrander, 50, were arrested last September after a three month search by police. Austin was arrested in an Alma bank and Ostrander turned himself in at the Gratiot County Sheriff’s Office. Both were arrested on outstanding Clare County warrants on assault with intent to murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident at the cemetery reportedly happened when Love, Ostrander and Austin went to the cemetery to search for buried money allegedly buried by Ostrander and Austin in an unoccupied section.

Love said he was assaulted by the other two with a hammer and a shovel. He said the story about the buried money was a trap. Love managed to escape by running into a wooded area then went to the Linda Bentley residence to get help.

Ostrander and Austin left the cemetery.

On May 31, Austin pled guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon as part of a plea agreement that required her to testify against Ostrander at his trial.

Ostrander pled guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder on May 1st and was sentenced to eight to 20 years in prison. His pleas ended an investigation started by Sgt. Miller of the Clare County Sheriff’s Office and concluded by Detective Van Bonn.

Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said, “The circumstances as initially reported were bizarre and additional information was gleaned from testimony at a preliminary examination and later interviews with Austin.

Austin was sentenced today, July 9, 2018, by Judge Thomas Evans to 251 days with credit for 251 days served, three years of probation, a $60 DNA fee, $68 in state costs, a $130 crime victim rights fee. A $500 fine, $500 in court costs and $600 in court-appointed attorney fees.

Love was not present to speak at her sentencing or the sentencing for Ostrander.

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