Conviction and Sentencing of Man Accused of Stalking Upheld by Court of Appeals

40-year-old Tracy Russell was convicted in March of 2012 of aggravated stalking and larceny from a building in connection with allegedly stalking his former girlfriend and stealing her heirloom jewelry as she was recovering from cancer surgery. He was sentenced to two to five years in prison by Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe in April of last year.

Russell appealed his conviction and sentence to the Michigan Court of Appeals, arguing that the prosecution should not have been allowed by the trial court to present evidence that Russell had stalked a former girlfriend, an act that he was not charged with. Russell also raised other issues with the appeals court which were not described in a news article at

Russell’s alleged victim, Kimberly VanSyckle, testified in court that Russell sent her at least 50 text messages and called her nearly 1,000 times between early August and early September of 2011. At the time VanSyckle was recovering from breast cancer surgery, and said that she got to the point where she couldn’t take the constant phone calls and texts anymore. VanSyckle testified that she and Russell had lived together the previous year, and that she suspected he had stolen heirloom jewelry she had stored in a dresser, jewelry that her deceased mother had given her.

On June 27 of this year, appellate judges rejected Russell’s contentions and affirmed his conviction and sentencing.

Michigan attorneys who practice in the area of criminal appeals know it is critical that individuals who feel they have been wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced obtain the services of a lawyer with much experience and success in criminal appeals. This is a highly complex process which cannot be handled successfully by an attorney with little or no experience with appellate matters.

If you or a loved one feel you deserve a second chance at a fair outcome, consult with a capable Michigan criminal appeals lawyer right away. Our criminal justice system is designed not only to protect the public from potentially dangerous criminals, but to protect those who have been unfairly accused as well.

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