Brodrick McPhail is called Brody by friends and family. He is the 14-year-old son of Fred McPhail, a candidate for Eaton County Sheriff. Fred is also a former Undersheriff in Eaton County, Michigan. That’s not Brody’s only claim to fame. The other item in the media that has garnered him attention is the fact that he and another teenage boy are facing felony charges for criminal sexual conduct and child pornography.
According to court records, Brody and one other 15-year-old boy, Hunter Chance, have both been charged with single counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree involving a victim under the age of 13. In addition, both boys are charged with child sexually abusive material (kiddie porn) and child sexual activity distribution with a child under 13.
Although the alleged rape took place in Eaton County, the case has been assigned to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office because of a conflict of interest. All of the Eaton County Prosecutors have recused themselves due to their close working relationship with Brody’s father, Fred McPhail, who served as the Eaton County undersheriff for eight years.
Chance, who is a resident of Ludington which is in Mason County, Michigan, and McPhail, who is from Grand Ledge in Eaton County, Michigan, are both being charged as adults. According to Jarzynka, the law allows the prosecutor’s office to charge teens as adults in certain cases where the crimes are considered to be severe.
First degree criminal sexual conduct, along with murder and arson, are examples of crimes where juveniles may be charged as adults. These are known as waiver cases because the juvenile court waives its jurisdiction over the juvenile in order for the case to proceed through the adult court system. Under Michigan law, people under 17 years old are normally charged as juveniles.
Warrants were sought by the Grand Ledge Police Departments for the arrest of both defendants. Police records also show that the alleged victim was 12 at the time that the supposed sexual assault happened. The other charges imply that there were pictures or video footage taken of a minor in a sexual situation and possibly distributed.
McPhail and Chance’s conditional bonds were set at $25,000. Jail records reveal that Fred McPhail has already posted bond for his son, while Chance remains in custody at the Eaton County Youth Facility. The conditions of McPhail’s bond are that he wear a GPS tether, have no contact with either the alleged victim or Chance, have no access to the internet, social media, or cell phones, and also that he consume no alcohol and participate in no behavior that could be considered violent.
As of now, we have no details about the alleged incident that led to these charges, beyond the allegation that the two teens had a sexual encounter with an underaged girl.. We would like to remind all of our readers that, despite the heinousness of rape and other sex crimes, the law presumes that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and while these boys have been accused of a crime, they have not been convicted. The criminal defense team at the Kronzek Firm has successfully proven the innocence of wrongfully charged defendants throughout Michigan.
A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for both teens on August 19th at 9 a.m., to be followed by a preliminary examination on August 26th before Eaton County District Court Judge Julie Reincke.