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Teen sentenced for home invasions

Published 2:06pm Thursday, February 25, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Cassopolis Vigilant

If Jose Coria doesn’t get his act together, he could land in prison as a teenager.

The 17-year-old South Bend resident was sentenced to three years of probation and one year in jail at the Cass County Circuit Court Friday for his involvement in a string of home invasions in Milton Township in Niles.

Coria pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree home invasion and larceny of more than $1,000 in December.

Coria was one of a group of people who invaded three homes and stole more than $1,000-worth of property in September of last year. Stolen items included guns, computers and jewelry.

Prosecuting Attorney Victor Fitz said even though Coria is very young, the crimes were in no way childish and warranted a prison sentence.

“This is extremely serious, far more serious that he probably realizes,” Fitz said. “In situations where guns are involved there is a high level of danger. This was not a childish prank.”

Judge Michael Dodge acknowledged the severity of the crimes but because of his young age did not send him to prison.

Also on Friday, Eric Arseneau, of Edwardsburg was handed a three-year minimum prison sentence with credit for 79 days served for operating and maintaining a meth lab. und while in jail. Dodge would allow him to partcipate in boot camp if he qualifies, which would allow him to be discharged after 90 days if completed.

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