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Cassopolis man given probation for two drunk driving offenses

Published 8:45am Monday, July 21, 2014

A Cassopolis man who was arrested twice in less than three months for drunk driving has been sentenced for his actions.

Cass Circuit Judge Michael Dodge gave Scott Keith Solomon, 39, two years of probation on Friday for two charges of operating a vehicle while impaired and one charge of resisting arrest. Solomon had pleaded guilty to both counts during an earlier appearance in court, on June 6.

The first charge occurred on Feb. 20, when an officer with the Dowagiac Police Department attempted to stop Solomon’s vehicle after noticing his erratic driving. Solomon initially ignored the officer’s efforts to have him pull over, even after the officer activated the vehicle’s sirens.

Once he was stopped, the Cassopolis man refused to obey the officer’s commands, including refusing to take a preliminary breathalyzer test, Dodge said.

“Not too surprising while you were intoxicated, that you would act the way you would today,” Dodge said.

Following his arrest on suspicions drunk driving, a warranted blood test revealed that Solomon had a .12 percent blood alcohol level, confirming the officer’s assessment on the field.

Three months, later on May 4, Solomon was stopped again by the same police officer, after witnessing him roll through a stop sign. After failing a field sobriety test,  Solomon again refused a breathalyzer test, though later blood work revealed that Solomon had a .13 blood alcohol level.

Prior to his arrests for these pair of offenses, Solomon’s past criminal record had been relatively clean, with the exception of two prior drunk driving convictions, Dodge said.

“The alcohol problem is clearly very serious and out of control,” the judge said.

The prosecution also pointed out the potentially lethal consequences of his repeated attempts to get behind the driver’s wheel while intoxicated.

“Solomon is one of those time bombs waiting to happen, waiting to go off,” said Prosecutor Victor Fitz. “Just imagine taking someone from Dowagiac, Cassopolis, or a few other townships and eliminating them from the face of the Earth. That’s what people such as Solomon do when they continue to drive drunk.”

As part of his probation sentence, Dodge ordered Solomon to participate in adult treatment court to help him overcome his problems with alcohol, spending the 120 days at the Twin County Probation Center where the first step of the program takes place. He was also ordered to pay $262 worth of restitution.

Also sentenced Friday:

• Jerry Robert Sanger, 42, of Dowagiac, to two years in prison for the manufacture of crack/cocaine.

• Justin William Stinnet, 25, of Dowagiac, to one year of probation for the manufacture of marijuana.

• Mary Elizabeth Trickett, 41, of Dowagiac, to 18 months of probation for the delivery of marijuana.

• Katherine Louise Harmon, 39, of Cassopolis, to 2 years of probation for possession of meth.

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