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Beckwith sent to prison for Diamond Isle home invasions

Published 8:00am Monday, September 14, 2009

Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – Several homes on the Diamond Lake island were invaded during the winter of 2007 by several vandals.

They walked across the ice to Diamond Isle.

They broke windows, smashed things, stole items. It was Feb. 28 while heavily intoxicated Lorn Beckwith, 29, of 64520 Spaniolo, Cassopolis, was one of the vandals who broke into the homes. They left some of the doors open to the elements.

On Friday morning in Cass County Circuit Court, Beckwith turned around, looked at the victims who were present and apologized before Judge Michael Dodge imposed 2 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

Beckwith pleaded to four of 15 counts which were three counts of second-degree home invasion and one count of conspiracy to commit second-degree home invasion. He was allowed credit for 157 days served.

Dodge gave him a break of allowing 30 months at the bottom of his guideline range instead of 36 months because of his cooperation in testifying against co-defendant Douglas Barbour, whom Dodge noted was the motivator.

Barbour will be sentenced Oct. 23.

The top of his guideline range was 71 months, Dodge noted, saying this was a unique set of circumstances, and the court will deviate below the guideline range on the prosecutor’s recommendation. Prosecutor Victor Fitz said, “His cooperation resulted in a positive result. He was truthful. He did assist in bringing Barbour to court.”

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