Nicholas Racine Says He Was Taken Advantage Of
27-year-old Nicholas Racine, a resident of West Branch Township in Marquette County, is saying that he wants to withdraw the ‘no contest plea’ he made previously. His reason? he was taken advantage of by his former attorney, and had no idea what he was really committing to.
Racine, who is charged with first degree child abuse and torture, accepted a plea agreement last year in late November. At the time his trial was scheduled for January 4th. But things have changed considerably since then, it seems. Racine has replaced his attorney, and is now hoping to retract his plea, claiming that he did not understand what he was agreeing to.
According to the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office, he is accused of badly injuring a 3-month-old baby. The infant was treated at Motts Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan for severe injuries. Hospital records show that the baby suffered hemorrhages, head trauma, and multiple rib fractures, along with bruised eyes and a possible bite mark on the child’s arm. According to one of the doctors treating the infant, the abuse took place on at least three separate occasions, possibly more.
Following the baby’s admission to the hospital, Michigan State Police began an investigation into what appeared to be a severe case of child abuse. Racine was arrested on June 25th, following the MSP investigation, at his home in West Branch Township. He was lodged in the Marquette County Jail, and arraigned the next day on two felony charges.
In a letter written to Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi, Racine explained his reasons as follows:
“I believe I was misinformed and mislead into accepting the plea, due to myself having several learning disabilities and having the comprehension of a fourth grade reading level along with my hearing loss. I believe I was taken advantage of.”
Judge Mazzuchi read Racine’s letter aloud in court, and then addressed it with the defense and prosecution. She ordered both sides to prepare briefs on the matter, and then reconvene in court at a later date to discuss the issue. As of yet, it is unknown if the Judge will allow Racine to retract his plea. But if she does, this case will likely go to trial.