‘Catastrophic threat’ headed to prisonPublished 3:08pm Friday, April 19, 2013
CASSOPOLIS — Described by the prosecution as a clear, continuing and catastrophic threat to Cass County, 22-year-old Justin Young will spend the next decade in prison.
Cass County Circuit Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Young, of Dowagiac, to a minimum of 10 years in prison Friday on a charge stemming from the July 26 home invasion of a Dowagiac resident.
In February, a jury found Young guilty of several charges, including the most serious charge of first-degree home invasion as an habitual offender fourth.
Young, who has at least three prior felony convictions, broke into a home on James Street and stole several items, including gold coins, watches and a semi-automatic PS90 rifle that was never recovered. Young fled when police attempted to apprehend him.
“This defendant is a clear, continuing and catastrophic threat to the Cass County community and I believe he deserves nothing less than the top of the guideline range,” said Tiffiny Vohwinkle, assistant prosecutor.
Because of Young’s status as an habitual offender fourth, the court had the discretion to sentence Young to life in prison on the charge of first-degree home invasion.
The guideline range for his sentence was 87 to 290 months in prison.
Dodge did not agree with the prosecution’s request to sentence Young at the top of the guideline range — over 24 years.
“For a property crime that really is too extreme,” he said. “Nobody was personally injured here.”
Members of Young’s family wept openly when Dodge read the sentence.
Young did not speak on his behalf prior to sentencing.