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Posted on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

Plea deals in the works for 3 men accused in break-in spree

By Kyle Feldscher

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for colwellschuhsngyuen.jpg

Jeffrey Arthur Schuh, Jeffrey Aron Schuh, Quang Nguyen, Stephen Colwell

The three members of a group of men that allegedly broke into homes throughout Washtenaw County are working on plea deals with Washtenaw County prosecutors, attorneys said Wednesday.

Jeffrey Aron Schuh, Jeffrey Arthur Schuh and Quang Nguyen all appeared in Washteanw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown’s courtroom Wednesday afternoon. The three men are accused of working together to break into numerous homes in Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Township, Scio Township, Webster Township and Dexter Township in July and August.

Nguyen, 19, of Ypsilanti Township, and Jeffrey Arthur Schuh, 54, of Dexter, expect to be working with prosecutors on a plea deal in the next few weeks, their attorneys said Wednesday. Ronald Gold, Nguyen’s attorney, asked Brown to adjourn the pretrial hearing until 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30 for more negotiations with Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Dianna Collins.

“We need a little more time for a possible resolution,” he said in court.

The Schuhs are scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13.

At preliminary hearings in November, a former member of the crew described how the four of them worked together to commit home invasions.

Stephen Colwell, who took a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against the trio, testified that Nguyen recruited him into the crew. He said he joined to help feed a heroin addiction.

Colwell, the younger Schuh and Nguyen broke into nine homes and the elder Schuh served as a lookout on three of those occasions, according to Colwell’s testimony. The crew allegedly stole a host of items, both conventional and strange: foreign coins, two-dollar bills, equestrian trophies, jewelry, silver goblets, electronics, cash, a guitar and custom-made brass bullets.

Colwell has pleaded guilty to five counts of second-degree home invasion and will serve between two and 15 years in prison.

Nguyen faces 18 counts of second-degree home invasion, two counts of first-degree home invasion, two counts of safe breaking and two counts of stealing a financial transaction device across 10 criminal cases. Jeffrey Aron Schuh faces 16 counts of second-degree home invasion, two counts of first-degree home invasion, two counts of safe breaking and two counts of stealing a financial transaction device.

Jeffrey Arthur Schuh faces five counts of second-degree home invasion, one count of first-degree home invasion and two counts of stealing a financial transaction device.

Nguyen and the younger Schuh face life in prison if they’re convicted on the safe breaking charge. All three are currently lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

There shouldn't be plea deals in any criminal case. That minimizes the actual crime for the sake of a sure conviction of at least something, and of course, the collection of fines.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

They already gave Cowell a deal in exchange for testifying against the others. If his testimony isn't strong enough to convict them, the prosecutor had no business making the deal in the first place.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

I remember being berated by some girl that knew one of these gentleman because I said they were guilty and doing it to support a heroin habit. ahhhh, always good to be right. Now lock them and ditch any plea deals!


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

yep she was a staunch defender of at least Nguyen!


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

ALL of these thugs need to serve FULL sentences and NO plea deals! STOP the bargaining with these animals.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Plea deals are the problem in this country. I say do like they do overseas and cut off a hand for stealing. I bet they think twice about doing it again. This country is too soft on criminals because of all the tree hugging liberals.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Plea deals are the problem in this *county*.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

I see no reason to offer plea deals to these guys.n I see no reason to support a prosecutor that offers them plea deals.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

Problem is our jails are already full up. We have just about the highest prison rate in the world already. Need to stop the already lost war on drugs as it hasn't reduced the availability to purchase drugs and has only made criminals rich while filling our prisons with the peons of the trade.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

Outlaw female heroes? Just try. I will continue to admire Marie Curie regardless.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

Wait, why did these guys break in again - oh yep, heroine addiction. So, are you suggesting we legalize heroine?

Jim Slagenwhite

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 8:22 a.m.

Lockem up milan needs fresh...


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Not to rain on your humor....But Milan is a Federal prison which these clowns don't qualify for


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 7:36 a.m.

I would like to think the prosecutor knows something that we don't know. Otherwise he is making a "deal" that stinks to High Heaven!


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

I don't think it's about what a prosecutor knows. I think it's about not wanting to go to trial, for reasons that I will never understand. There are far too many of these deals these days. Throw these pieces of garbage in a prison for a LONG time.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 6:23 a.m.

Like none of you watch Law & Order. Sheesh.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

Does safe cracking normally get you life, or is it a third strike thing? Either way I say send them to trial and skip the plea. Either you are innocent of the charges, as presumed, or you face it like a man and take the consequences of your actions. It doesn't seem to be a grey area crime here, either they stole this stuff and did the damage or they didn't. I hate to pay for housing criminals as much as the next guy, but I would like them off the streets.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

I don't see the point of letting this go to plea-bargaining. None of these people should ever be let out of jail again. The rat should get every minute of the 15 years he exchanged for testimony.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

What? No plea deal. Throw these guys away like the garbage they are.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 4:56 a.m.

How about they throw you like garbage. You don't even know them in the first place, who gave you the right to talk about them this way. You know nothing you saw nothing so how do you know if they truly are guilty or not?! Unless you have hard proof I suggest that you close your mouth and count to ten before you ever judge any one.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:21 a.m. what point will the Prosecutor's office stop "making deals" to pump up the conviction stats and actually go to trial?


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

Do you mean to tell me that a gang that specialized in home invasions may plead themselves out of just punishment, and somehow there is room in the jails for non violent drug users? What a joke.

Yael Ganet

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 6:41 a.m.

The American Justice System at work! Citizen Patriots: Cheer! (caustic sarcasm, horrific ring of truth...)


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

Pleas can save the tax-payers some money, but they better not give these guys a pass because this was "just" home invasion. These robberies are horrible for the families involved. Besides the loss of property, some of which was personal and will never be recovered, the break-in and destruction is a complete violation of one's privacy. I have friends who have never felt the same about their house after a break-in. Time to stop treating these break-ins as minor inconveniences.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

Whomever is funding the private lawyer for Aiden (Quang Nguyen) is investing in an alleged criminal with a long list of solid charges. Let it go to trial. No short cuts.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

I'd really rather the prosecutor not take the chance that there will be a sympathetic juror who lets him go free.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

An important detail in this case is that the younger Schuh would often defecate in the homes they would break into. Usually leaving it outside the toilet. A horrifying fact that should not be forgotten.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Reminder folks....never GIS "Blumpkin" at work.