Terpening appears in family court following sentencing, and the cash runs out

December 14, 2012

Michael Terpening 2003 ArrestYesterday this writer was surprised given the major defeat Terpening experienced in the recent criminal trial he did not make some kind of deal with prosecutors to resolve the remaining charges.  It seems Mike has some more fight in him, but he is not going to be fighting with the same lawyers he has been paying himself. The people of Barry County will be footing the bill as both cases were scheduled for motions and trial. His lawyers withdrew from the remaining cases due to Terpening's lack of cash.

Today is the Family Court hearing at 1:30PM and the big question is will Terpening force that case to trial, as well? Terpening has a right to take this case to a trial in front of a jury to decide whether or not his parental rights and those of his wife are ended and the children removed from Mrs. Terpening's care.

Terpening has 5 children he adopted from foster care, 3 girls and 2 boys. Both boys are reported to have sexually acted out in schools according to documents found in the family court file this writer reviewed. Terpening would also receive a stipend for the care of these children which could amount to as much as $5,000 each month entirely free of taxes. Terpening has 3 biological children, as well.

Some have suggested Mrs. Terpening committed perjury in the recent trial to help explain away DNA evidence supporting the story of one of the victims in the case. If the family court were to believe Mrs. Terpening committed perjury, it would surely be clear it was in the knowing defense of a sex offender.  Mrs. Terpening also faces the termination of her parental rights for her role in not protecting her children from Terpening.  This writer further wonders if Mrs. Terpening is allowed to keep the children if there will be safeguards to keep the children from what the judge in the recent criminal case found to be obstruction of justice by members of Terpening's family.

The State of Michigan surely wants to keep these kids together,  keeping the siblings together would be entirely impossible, especially given the special needs of one of the boys; not to mention the sexual acting out of the two boys means they would be difficult to place alone.

Perhaps the biggest question will be whether or not Mrs. Terpening makes the choice to leave Michael. The Terpening Followers once claimed prosecutors in Barry County offered to let her keep the kids in exchange for divorcing Michael. One wonders if such a deal can be ethically offered: but now that Terpening is a convicted child predator how can Mrs. Terpening remain married to Terpening when a number of the children will still be minors?

What sway does Terpening still hold with his wife? She was at the sentencing, does she still support him? Will this mother put her children first? Will Terpening man up and encourage his wife to move on for the sake of these 8 children?

UPDATE 3:54 PM- Convicted sex offender Michael Terpening plans to take the parental rights termination case to trial!  Many expected Terpening to give up his rights, instead his lawyer attempted to withdraw from the case because Terpening no longer has the money to pay counsel. The court refused the motion and the case is headed for trial on January 21, 2012, Mike's second trip before a Barry County Jury.

In an interesting note, Terpening's wife sat at the same table as her husband with Terpening's lawyer between them. At no time during the hearing did either make any eye contact of any kind. Terpening did, at one point, look back at family members including Jamie Moore Bell, his father Joe Terpejning, Jamie's husband Jerry Bell and Terpening Follower Linda Timmons. Terpening's sister Kerri was also in court for this hearing.

Click here to read the Family Court Neglect Abuse Petition