UPDATE: Former pastor charged with embezzlement
A former pastor in Olivet is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from his own church.
Prosecutors say Douglas Hammond, 67, stole the money from the First Assembly of God church located in Olivet.
Douglas Hammond was arraigned in the Eaton County District Court Monday afternoon.
His attorney entered a "not guilty" plea on his behalf, but the former pastor showed remorse insisting he committed the crime.
"I'm sorry I did it, I'm guilty, I'm guilty, I'm guilty."
Hammond is accused of embezzling the money from the church from January 2014 through November 2019.
Olivia Meeker said she's attended Olivet First Assembly of God church where Hammond worked a couple of times and never noticed anything unusual.
"It kind of catches me off guard like I had no idea about it and it's kind of startling," Meeker said.
An active member of the Olivet community who also interacted with Hammond wanted to remain anonymous. He said he was shocked by the allegations.
"Anytime that I've had any interaction with him, he's been a generous person so it surprises me that he would be involved in something like this."
If Hammond is convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. He is currently in the Eaton County Jail and has a bond of $10,000.
He is scheduled to be back in court next Monday, we'll be there and let you know what happens.