Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

August 7, 2013

Antrim prosecutor remembered for pursuit of justice


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a statement about Koop's death, saying "the people of Michigan will forever be privileged to have (benefited) from Charlie’s public service and profound dedication to justice.”

Former Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Dennis Labelle said he and Koop started work in the Grand Traverse County prosecutor's office during the 1980s. Koop briefly went into private practice before making an unsuccessful bid for prosecutor in 1988 against Labelle.

"After the election I didn't see Charlie too much," Labelle said. "It wasn't really until he was appointed as Antrim County's prosecuting attorney (in 1990) that we had more association. He was still the same Charlie that I knew -- very conscientious, very good trial attorney."

Koop won his first Antrim County general election in 1992 and stayed in office for 23 years.

Janisse said a funeral service will be this week. Koop is survived by his wife, Christine, three children, Haley, Sally and Charlie, and his grandchildren.

Gribi fell out of touch with Koop in the years after Bolton's trial, but she briefly reconnected by email during the past holiday season. She thanked him for his work bringing justice for her father and stepmother, Ken and Millie Gribi. Koop replied that he often thought about her parents, but seldom about the killer.

"I rarely think of Bolton, not out of not remembering your father and Millie, but as my way of dealing with evil, he is a nothing," Koop wrote.

"When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory (becomes) a treasure," Koop wrote.



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