BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) - A man freed in October by Calhoun County because he did not get a speedy trial was found guilty of murder at his trial this week.
Lauren O'Melay was convicted of killing Larry Denniston on March 31. Denniston, 63, was found dead after being shot five times in an apparent land dispute.
O'Melay, 64, was arrested on April 2 after Denniston's body was found dumped in the woods in Branch County's Butler Township on April 1.
The two co-owned property in Marengo Township in Calhoun County, where the crime happened.
But O'Melay was allowed to walk out of the Calhoun County Jail in October , though he was not exactly a free man.
Calhoun County sheriff's detectives said he was considered a danger and a flight risk when he was ordered to jail without bond and say that hasn't changed.
Omelay's release was all about timing. In May, the court set a trial date for Nov. 6 -- more than 200 days after his arrest.
But his attorney filed a motion that prosecutors were violating the state's speedy trial law, which requires a trial within 180 days for defendants held in jail.
Despite a protest from prosecutors, Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge James Kingsley let him go.
Though he was released from custody, his murder trial remained scheduled for Nov. 6. It began on time and he was convicted of the charges - felony murder and felony firearms.
O'Melay will be sentenced Dec. 14.
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