Charles Leroy Cope (known as Leroy) lived in the basement, which he rented from Jason. He did not testify at trial.
Leroy gave statements to police consistent with Jason’s account. He was repeatedly asked if Jason ever touched, hit or threatened Angel or Becky, and responded that did not happen.
However at trial, Leroy’s attorney argued a “duress” defense consistent with the prosecution theory of events. Leroy’s attorney failed to consult at all with his client before the preliminary hearing and later told Jason’s attorney if he had known Jason had witnesses and evidence to rebut the prosecution case, he would not have offered a duress defense.
Leroy had issues from heavy drinking and drug use for years, and was battling with dementia and Alzheimer’s. During proceedings he was seen shaking his head, telling the assistant next to him no, that isn’t what happened, and that isn’t what he said.
Leroy was offered time-served if he would testify against Jason, he refused, was convicted and sentenced to to 25 to 40 years.
According to this news report on sentencing :
At sentencing, Cope addressed the court briefly, saying he did not believe Sadowski could have done what he was convicted of. Cope said he never saw Sadowski hit either woman while they were all in the basement of Sadowski’s home and business, The Martial Way in Ishpeming. Cope was living in the basement of the building at the time.
“I wasn’t upstairs, I don’t know, but I can’t believe him beating on those women,” Cope said. “Downstairs … that’s all I know, he never touched ’em downstairs. I never seen him hurt ’em.”
Cope said though he didn’t know what happened upstairs, he was sorry for it and said Sadowski was a good man who had helped him.