A business associate has been named as a person of interest in the killing of a prominent socialite in the Sturgis community.
David Locey was shot to death in his accounting practice north of Sturgis Wednesday.
That same colleague was also charged Thursday with embezzling thousands of dollars from Locey’s business.
Thirty-six-year-old Andy James Brown of Kalamazoo is accused of taking $100,000 or more from Locey CPA.
Magistrate Mark Books read the felony charge against Brown in court Thursday.
He made reference to a three-year-timeline of when the money may have gone missing.
“This alleges that in the year 2010 through the year 2013 in St. Joseph County Michigan, count one from the prosecutor is embezzlement,” said Books.
Sources tell FOX 17 that Brown was employed by Locey. They believe Locey had discovered the alleged embezzlement and had possibly suggested they stop working together or talked to him about the allegations at some point before the shooting happened.
The magistrate confirmed Thursday that Brown had been considered a person of interest in the homicide.
However, no murder or homicide charges have been filed.
The magistrate gave Brown a $1 million dollar bond due to what he called the serious nature of the allegations.
Meanwhile, other people in the community are surprised by the news.
Although Andy Brown’s address is listed in Kalamazoo, Sturgis residents say that Brown’s family is well-loved and has been active in the Sturgis community for years.
The Brown family’s repair shop is a landmark in town.
While residents come to terms with the new allegations, Locey’s friends are focused on remembering his life.
“The Facebook pages for a lot of our local businesses are putting up wreaths, Dave would make those wreaths personally,” said Eric Eishen, President and CEO of Sturgis Bank and Trust.
Eishen says the local businesses are posting Christmas wreaths on their website in honor of David.
It was his favorite time of year and Eishen said he always hosted an after-hours chamber of commerce holiday party at his Timberly Tree Farm.
“He held it in the basement of his barn,” said Eishen. “Dave would always get up and get sappy about the positive things.”
Remembering those good times is a way to stay positive during a dark time.
“Sadness, anger, just the emotions, said Eishen. “I’m not sure which one we can put our finger on. It’s just a sad thing.”