Evart man charged with child abuse reaches plea agreement with prosecutors

Marc Steven Hartnett
Marc Steven Hartnett

REED CITY —  An Evart man charged with severely injuring a child left in his care will not face trial after agreeing to a plea deal with the Osceola County Prosecutor's Office.

In September, Marc Steven Hartnett, 20, of Evart, was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree child abuse, one count of torture and one count of assault with intent to murder. On Friday, Hartnett entered a no contest plea in Osceola County's 49th Circuit Court to the first-degree child abuse charge and an added charge of assault to do great bodily harm less than murder. In exchange for his plea, the two additional charges were dismissed by prosecutors.

Hartnett was facing life in prison, but the plea agreement states the maximum sentence for Hartnett will be 40 years, according to court documents. His minimum sentence will be between 81 and 135 months and will be determined by the judge at sentencing.

If the judge chooses not to follow the agreed-upon sentence, Hartnett must be informed and will have the option to withdraw his plea.

The charges stem from critical injuries sustained by a 19-month-old boy allegedly at the hands of Hartnett. According to court documents, the abuse happened on Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Evart.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post Reed City detachment were dispatched shortly after midnight on Thursday, Sept. 24, to investigate the incident, in which a mother had returned home and found the boy unresponsive with severe injuries.

The child was transported by ambulance to Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital and then airlifted to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. The child underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries.

After the investigation, Hartnett, the mother’s boyfriend, was arrested.

A tentative sentencing date for Hartnett is set for Friday, May 20, in Osceola County's 49th Circuit Court.