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State Appeals Court Upholds Rulings on Zeeland Murder, Saugatuck Twp. Vote

Joshua Hambley (photo courtesy Ottawa Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Joshua Hambley (photo courtesy Ottawa Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

LANSING, MI (WHTC) - In two separate rulings yesterday, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the murder conviction of a Zeeland man and the election results in Saugatuck Township.

The panel agreed with a first-degree guilty verdict against Joshua Hambley, the now 20-year-old man convicted of slaying a friend by stabbing him numerous times and bludgeoning him with a shovel. Jonathan Dargis’ body was found in a shallow grave behind a Zeeland Township mobile home park two years ago. Hambley’s attorney had argued that there wasn’t a premeditated intent in the incident.

In addition, tjhe narrow two-vote margin that enacted a half-mill tax increase in Saugatuck Township in May of 2010 survived another legal challenge. The state Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that, despite ballot mishandling by the township clerk and her deputy that prevented a recount, there wasn’t enough evidence of intentional fraud or of a conflict of interest by them to warrant an overturning of the election result.