By Ralph Echtinaw
Gratiot County Prosecutor Keith Kushion has dismissed a charge for driving on a suspended license against former Alma resident Cody James Bantien, 31, after discovering that Bantien was convicted of a more serious crime last month and is now serving a minimum of eight years in prison.
Bantien was picked up by St. Louis police on May 1, 2021 after he jumped from a moving vehicle he had been driving and took off running, according to Police Chief Richard J. Ramereiz Jr. The vehicle came to rest in a grassy area undamaged. Bantien then entered a parked vehicle without permission and created a disturbance on the roadside when a citizen attempted to assist him.
An arrest was made “because there was a parole detainer out of Kent County, and he would have been released to Kent County on that detainer,” Kushion said via email. “He was not being held on Gratiot County charges at that time, and a report was submitted to my office to review for potential charges.”
Bantien had been released from Gratiot County custody by the time Kushion charged him with driving on a suspended license and authorized an arrest warrant. Bantien was never picked up on that warrant on account of getting in trouble elsewhere.
Kushion continues: “When I looked into this this morning (Jan. 5) I discovered that Cody Bantien was sentenced out of Emmett County on Dec. 14, 2021, for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon for which he received a prison sentence of one year six months to five years, and he was also sentenced on that date on a charge of Delivery/Manufacture of Methamphetamine for which he received a sentence of eight years four months to 20 years.
“Because the St. Louis charge is only a misdemeanor with a maximum of one year jail, and even if convicted his sentence would run concurrent to the two sentences he is serving in prison, I will be dismissing our charge today in light of the fact that he will be in prison for a minimum of eight years and four months.”
A look at Bantien’s record on the Been Verified web site shows multiple charges for home invasion, felony firearms, fleeing from a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon, assaulting and resisting or obstructing a police officer.
Though Bantien was identified as a Grand Rapids resident at the time of the arrest in St. Louis, a check of the Voter Records dot com site shows an apartment in Alma as his residence.
See Bantien’s prison record here.
See the report on Bantien’s arrest in Emmett County here.
Bantien was in the Morning Sun four years ago.