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Vandal of Diamond Lake sentenced

Published 9:00am Monday, September 14, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Niles Daily Star

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 sincerely apologized before Judge Michael Dodge imposed 2-1/2 to 15 years behind prison bars.

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 month because of his cooperation in testifying against co-defendant Douglas Barbour whom Dodge noted was the motivator.

He 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 Beckwith cooperated with law enforcement and testified in court. His cooperation resulted in a positive result. He was truthful. He did assist in bringing Barbour to court.”

Defense attorney Lawrence Quigley said Beckwith understands he has an alcohol and substance abuse problem. He admitted to the crimes and knows he has to change, he said.
Beckwith apologized to the whole thing and to the county. He said he started with drugs and alcohol. He said he was sent me to prison for drug charges.

I was paroled and my life has changed 180 degrees since then.” He said he has worked every day, learned to live a good life and made new friends. He added he is donating a kidney.

Dodge commended Beckwith for turning his life around and for donating a kidney to a patient. “I hope the prison term doesn’t deter you from improving on your life.”
He ordered restitution to be paid of $8,975.34 to the victims plus fines an costs of $1,132.
Other sentencings are as follows:

• Aaron Hanes, 29, 1471 Maple Lane, Nappanee, received 150 days jail for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams on Nov. 18, 2006, at Amerihost Drive Apartments, Dowagiac. He is to pay $128 costs.

• Marshall Grabill, 27, 24050 North Shore Drive, Edwardsburg, received 270 days jail for possession of analogues and 90 days for disturbing the peace on July 5 on North Shore Drive, Edwardsburg, while being intoxicated. He is to pay costs of $181.

• Stephen Danzy, 40, of 18494 Williamsville, Cassopolis, got 240 days jail for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams on July 14. He is to pay $128 costs.

• Lase Buford, 18, 511 West Simonton St., Elkhart, Ind. got 18 months probation for possession with intent to deliver cocaine less than 50 grams on July 9 on U. S. 12, Edwardsburg. She is to pay $1,288 costs.

• Jason Black, 24, 11380 Michigan-60, Three Rivers, received 90 days jail for larceny in a building on July 13 on East Dibble St., Marcellus. He is to pay $52.

Dean Kietzer, 34, received 270 days jail for resisting and obstructing police in Dowagiac on July 9 during a fight. He is to pay $128 costs.

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