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Elkhart man sentenced for ‘crazy night’ of driving

Published 9:45am Thursday, June 24, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Cassopolis Vigilant

One crazy night of driving will equate to 90 days in Cass County Jail for an Elkhart man.
Joseph Cole, 32, was sentenced in Cass County Circuit Court on Friday to two years of probation with the first 90 days in jail with credit for three days served in connection to his guilty plea to fourth degree fleeing of police and attempting to resist or obstruct a police officer.

The charges stemmed from an incident in October 2009 when a Cass County sheriff deputy pulled Cole over at U.S. 12 and Calvin Center Road in Union on suspicion of a hit and run.

The officer suspected he was intoxicated, and Cole sped away. A high-speed chase ensued with speeds reaching 100 miles per hour. Cole then drove into a driveway and made a U-turn back onto the roadway, narrowly missing hitting the home.

After finally being stopped by police, he jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. When officers caught up with Cole, a physical confrontation ensued, ending with an officer stunning him with a Taser. One of the officers was injured in the tussle.

Cole’s attorney, James Miller, requested no jail time so that Cole could hold onto his job, but Judge Michael Dodge cited Cole’s previous driving with suspended license offenses and failing to appear in court when giving him the jail sentence.

Also on Friday:
• Johnny Williamson, a 31-year-old Marcellus resident, received a three to 20-year prison term on two methamphetamine cases. In April he sold the drug to an undercover police informant. Four days later, he was pulled over for a traffic violation and found less than one gram of meth under the driver’s seat.

• David Hamilton of Grand Juncion, Colo. was sentenced to five years of probation with the first 270 days in the Cass County Jail for failing to pay child support. Hamilton owes more than $50,000 and has paid only 14 payments in 22 years.

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