Circuit judge sees Life from other side of bench

By Chad Halcom
Macomb Daily Staff Writer

A Macomb County judge recently switched positions from the bench to the witness stand.

Macomb County Circuit Judge Mary A. Chrzanowski testified Thursday in 41B District Court at a preliminary examination for Anthony Goulais, 32, of Warren and Christina Watch, 26, of Flint.

"I remember I came home and found my door kicked in," Chrzanowski said. "I thought they might still be here so I tried to find something to use as a weapon. Then I thought, 'This is stupid, I know better,' and called the cops."

Goulais and Watch faced charges Thursday of second-degree home invasion and conspiracy to commit home invasion - both 15-year felonies, for a March 22 break-in at Chrzanowski's home.

Chrzanowski was called' to the stand by Eric Kaiser, the 1Vtacomb County prosecutor handling the case, for her recollection of ,vents that evening.

"It's interesting. I've now been in every role in the judicial system," Chrzanowski reflected afterward. "Being the victim was really the last one."

Kaiser said she was a good witness and the case was a solid one.

However, District Judge James A. Scandirito bound over Watch for trial in circuit court, but dismissed the charges against Goulais, citing missing elements in the case.

"There's no evidence that he (Goulais) was ever there," said James L. Galen, Goulais' defense attorney. "The woman (Walch) had been his girlfriend, and I think she's p--- that he abandoned her or something like that, so she got back at him."

The two were accused of forcing their way into the home, stealing a checkbook and some jewelry while Chrzanowski was away on an errand. Attorneys said Watch was later found in possession of some of Chrzanowski's checks.

"These people are in a business. They had all the stuff pawned in a day. It's like a job they do," Kaiser said. "One can only hope when people get into this behavior that this would be a chance for them to turn their lives around."

Kaiser said he plans to reintro-duce the charges against Goulais and fill in some gaps that Scandirito cited Thursday, such as identifica-tion of Goulais' fingerprints.

"She (Chrzanowski) did a very good job as a witness," Kaiser said. "She was nervous, like all victims are." Chrzanowski said the incident still troubles her at times, causing her to sleep with her lights on.

"But if they could just get me back all that jewelry, I probably wouldn't even press charges against them," she said. "I still don't have about six or seven pieces with some real sentimental value."