The two Ishpeming men accused of kidnapping and torturing two women earlier this month in Ishpeming have been bound over to circuit court. Forty-three-year-old Jason Sadowski and 65-year-old Charles Cope appeared in Marquette County District Court Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing.
Sadowski and Cope allegedly held two Ishpeming women hostage in the basement of The Martial Way in Ishpeming on the morning of July 2. Sadowski owns the martial arts studio that is located on Cleveland Avenue.
The two men are charged with torture and unlawful imprisonment. Sadowski is charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct, assault, and solicitation of murder. They each face life in prison if convicted.
Wednesday's hearing lasted three-and-a-half hours. An officer from the Ishpeming Police Department, who was first to the scene, testified, along with the two female victims, ages 45 and 32. TV6 and FOX UP are identifying the women as "victim one" and "victim two" in this story.
Jason Sadowski met the two women outside of Hickey's Bar in Ishpeming around 2 a.m. on July 2. The women testified that after the bar closed, they went to the MMA studio to buy marijuana and learn more about martial arts. A small theft is what they say set off Sadowski.
"There was four dollars in the wallet, and we took it out. We took the money out of the wallet," testified victim two.
Five to ten minutes later, the victims told Sadowski what they did.
"He punched me with such intensity that I flew off the computer desk chair," said victim one.
Shortly thereafter, Sadowski led the two women into a basement, where they said Charles Cope was sleeping. Cope allegedly helped Sadowski tie up the women. Victim one said Sadowski was "eerily calm and pacing around the room with a smirk and a knife" throughout the ordeal.
"He was saying a bunch of things, like, 'You don't know, you dumb (expletive), I've been to prison, I've killed before, I'm not afraid to kill again,'" victim one recalled.
Sadowski eventually led victim two into another room and told her she had to kill her friend, along with her fiance who was trying to contact her.
"There was no way I was agreeing to that," she said.
Victim two said Sadowski showed her a cell phone picture of her family.
"At that point, when he told me, 'I know this is your daughter, this is your fiance,' and I begged him, I'm like, leave my family out of this," she said.
Victim two returned to the main basement room and remained untied. Once Sadowski and Cope left the room, she located a cell phone. She said it was in the pocket of a jacket believed to be Cope's. Victim two called 911, and the Ishpeming Police Department responded at 6:35 a.m.
On Wednesday, Judge Dennis Girard ruled that there is probable cause to move the cases forward. Sadowski and Cope will be arraigned in Marquette County Circuit Court on Friday, July 26 at 10:30 a.m. If they choose, they can enter a not-guilty plea via mail before the hearing.
The two remain in the Marquette County Jail. Cope is held on a $500,000 cash bond per count, while Sadowski has no bond. Attorneys for each client requested a reduction of bond, but Judge Girard denied that request, citing each defendant's lengthy criminal history.
Here are Twitter posts from TV6's Andrew LaCombe, who was in court on Wednesday:
Victim testifies the other victim told her "she had to kill me if she wanted to survive" @wluctv6?? Andrew LaCombe (@andrewlacombe) July 17, 2013
Victim describes Sadowski as "eerily calm, with a smirk, in control, pacing around" during incident. "It was hell," she says @wluctv6?? Andrew LaCombe (@andrewlacombe) July 17, 2013