Teen sent to prison in break-in attemptPublished 9:58pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A South Bend teenager charged in connection with a shooting and break-in attempt at a Niles Township home is headed to prison.
Eddie McGhee, 19, was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison Monday in Berrien County Trial Court. He will be credited for 103 days served.
The crime occurred Aug. 9 at a home on South 17th Street in Niles Township, where McGhee and Joshua Haliotis, Deandre Miller and Danielle Dixon tried to break into the home of one of Haliotis’ relatives to steal marijuana and money.
One of the defendants fired shots through the front door of the home where a man was standing.
Assistant Prosecutor Cara Wilkinson said that, although McGhee didn’t have possession of the gun, he should be held accountable for his role in the plot.
“He knew about the plan,” she said. “The fact he didn’t possess the gun doesn’t make him less guilty.”
Defense attorney Jason Engram pointed to his client’s clean criminal record and said McGhee showed more remorse than his co-defendants in his statements.
McGhee, choking back tears, apologized during his comments.
“I’d like to apologize to everyone I hurt, the victims, the court,” he said.
“I just ask you for as much leeway as you can. Let me out as soon as possible so I can turn my life around.”
Judge Scott Schofield said McGhee’s actions were not uncommon for young men “prone to dumb, senseless decisions.”
“Even though you’re young and have a pristine prior record, the consequences have to match the seriousness of the crime,” Schofield said.
“Use your time in prison to prepare your life after prison.”
Co-defendants Haliotis and Miller have been sentenced to six-year and 10-year prison terms respectively.