Michigan priest ordered to trial on embezzlement charges - WNEM TV 5

Michigan priest ordered to trial on embezzlement charges

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MASON, Mich. (AP) - -

A Michigan priest who lives at a property worth more than $1 million has been ordered to trial on embezzlement charges.

Judge Donald Allen made the decision Friday after hearing evidence over four days. The Rev. Jonathan Wehrle (WUR'-lee) is charged with six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from St. Martha Church, east of Lansing.

The priest lives in an 11,000-square-foot (1000-sq.-meter) home on 10 acres (4 hectares) worth more than $1 million. Defense lawyer Lawrence Nolan says money from Wehrle's family could have paid for it. But police said bills for work on the property matched checks written from the church.

Auditors have said more than $5 million is missing from St. Martha, a parish in Okemos. Wehrle was arrested last May on his 39th anniversary as a priest.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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