On Friday October 11, 34-year-old Noah Buist pleaded guilty to one count of felony home invasion in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court. Buist was scheduled to stand trial on Tuesday October 15, but pleaded guilty to the first-degree home invasion charge before Circuit Judge Pamela L. Lightvoet.
Buist, a former U.S. Postal Service employee, allegedly used a GPS tracking device to stalk a former female co-worker, according to a news article at Mlive.com. The defendant reportedly broke in to 28-year-old Laura Bolen’s Texas Township home on April 11 of this year.
Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer John Vandenberg, Bolen’s former boyfriend, testified in court that in the early morning hours of April 11, he and Bolen arrived at her home following a hockey game. Vandenberg testified that after the two went inside the home, Bolen’s dog began running up and down basement stairs while barking. Vandenberg initially thought the dog, named Oreo, was just excited. Vandenberg and Bolen became suspicious after the two noticed there were dog treats in Oreo’s crate, which neither had placed there.
Vandenberg then began searching the home, and eventually found Buist in the basement area in the closet of a rear bedroom. He wrestled Buist to the ground, where he held him until Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies arrived. When searched by deputies, it was found that Buist had a flashlight, knife, socket wrench set, ski mask, and GPS device in his pockets. Bolen suspected that the defendant had been following her, and asked deputies to search her car where they found a GPS tracking device.
Investigators said that Buist had attempted to break into Bolen’s home on prior occasions without success, and had searched the Internet using his cell phone to find out how to break into a house. He used a credit card to gain entrance into Bolen’s home on the day of the incident.
Buist will spend one year in jail according to news reports. He will then be required to wear a GPS tracking tether and serve five years of probation according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Klein. Buist is scheduled for sentencing on November 4.
First-degree home invasion is a felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison. Buist’s sentence was reduced due to his pleading guilty to the charges.
Home invasion, burglary, and breaking and entering are all very serious crimes, punished harshly in the state of Michigan. If you have been arrested or charged with any serious or violent offense, contact a talented Michigan criminal defense attorney at once to protect your legal rights and freedom, and so that work can begin on determining the best course of legal action.