5 months in jail for Michigan man who cut railroad wires

Graphic: AP

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) – Over the objections of prosecutors, a judge has sentenced a man to just five months in jail for cutting railroad safety wires in the Battle Creek area.

Jeff Taylor is a former employee for Canadian National Railway who now runs an Upper Peninsula motel. His lawyer says Taylor had mental health problems and wasn’t targeting a specific train.

Railroad crossing arms went down and red flashing lights were activated when the wires were cut. Prosecutors say Taylor cut 10 wires on three different days while visiting family, forcing train engineers to rely on their own awareness to avoid collisions or other problems.

Taylor appeared in Grand Rapids federal court on Wednesday. Defense attorney William Weise says Taylor believed his conduct “would be a nuisance” to the railroad, not anything worse.

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