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Couple sentenced for making meth

Published 6:11pm Friday, April 15, 2011

CASSOPOLIS — A local couple convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine is heading to prison.
Steven Hale, 51 of Edwardsburg, was sentenced to three to 20 years in prison, while his former live-in girlfriend Shirley Peterson, 46 of Elkhart, was sentenced to three to 40 years. Both will receive credit for 100 days already served.
They both pleaded guilty last month to cooking and using meth at their Edwardsburg home.
Prosecutor Diab Rizk said Peterson was “the mastermind behind this conspiracy” and the cook, while Hale provided the chemicals and components to produce the drug. Both admitted to using.
Both Hale and Peterson have one prior methamphetamine-related felony conviction on their records.
Peterson had a significantly higher sentencing guideline range due to being scored as the leader in a multiple-offender situation. But Judge Michael Dodge deviated from the guidelines, as her situation was “very comparable” to Hale’s.
“Realistically you were both equally involved. You should be treated equally,” he said.
Rizk objected to the deviation from the guideline range.
In their statements, both Hale and Peterson showed remorse, apologizing to the community and their families.

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