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158296, 158298 - People v Terrance Furline, People v Alvin Jenkins

The People of the State of Michigan,

 

Melissa Hoover

 

Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Saginaw – Borchard, J.)

 

Terrance Anthony Furline,

 

Ronald Ambrose

 

Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

 

____________________________________​


The People of the State of Michigan,

 

Melissa Hoover

 

Plaintiff-Appellant,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Saginaw – Borchard, J.)

 

Alvin Bernard Jenkins, Sr.,

 

Jonathan Simon

 

Defendant-Appellee.

Summary

Defendants Terrance Furline and Alvin Jenkins, Sr., set fire to a Flint home-improvement store as part of a scheme to distract employees while they stole high-priced merchandise.  They returned at least one item from the Flint store to another home-improvement store in exchange for a gift card, which they intended to sell for cash.  The next day, they attempted the same fire/theft scheme at a Saginaw home-improvement store.  A store employee prevented the theft, and defendants were eventually arrested and charged with multiple felonies.  Before trial, defendant Furline moved to sever his trial from that of codefendant Jenkins, arguing that Jenkins had given a statement to police identifying him (Furline) as the one who set the fire at the Saginaw store.  Jenkins orally joined the motion.  Furline argued that their defenses were mutually exclusive, and thus, severance was mandatory under People v Hana, 447 Mich 325 (1994).  The trial court disagreed and denied the motion.  Following a joint trial before a single jury, both defendants were convicted as charged.  The Court of Appeals vacated defendants’ convictions and sentences, reasoning that the trial court abused its discretion by denying Furline’s motion to sever.  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on defendants’ applications for leave to appeal to address whether the Court of Appeals clearly erred in its application of the principles of People v Hana, 447 Mich 325 (1994), to the defendants’ motions for separate trials.​