Defense attorneys for ex-prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III get new judge for sentencing


LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Only the sentencing remains for former Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III after he accepted a plea deal, and pleaded guilty to two criminal charges last month. Dunnings appeared in court today as his lawyers threw a wrinkle into the last part of the proceedings.

Stuart Dunnings III will have to wait a little longer to learn his fate after pleading guilty to a felony of misconduct in office and a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a prostitute. The delay comes after his own attorneys’ request that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina remove herself from the case.

“If I can compare it by being sentenced by a member of the same club. And, I know there is the distractions but it’s part of the same criminal justice club. So, I guess I would ask you to recuse yourself based on this motion,” said Stuart Dunnings III Attorney Greg Hocking.

Dunnings’ attorneys believe the move is the best course of action.

Hocking said, “there’s an inherent camaraderie between people that work in this building with each other.”

And even though the Judge felt differently about her role in this closed case.

“I believe that I can be fair and impartial. I believe that I am a neutral and detached magistrate,” said 55th District Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.

She still handed down a final decision and the Dunnings defense got its wish.

Judge Aquilina said, “I will recuse myself to avoid going through the extra rung of simply going to the Chief Judge and having me removed anyway.”

As of now, the sentencing is scheduled for November 10th. It has yet to be announced which judge will be present and ultimately decide Dunnings’ fate.

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