Man sentenced to prison for Edwardsburg break-inPublished 9:06am Monday, August 4, 2014
The first of three men responsible for breaking into the home of an Edwardsburg man last spring will see the inside of a
Cass County Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Deon Dominique Goodwin, 19, to two years in prison for second-degree home invasion and conspiracy to commit home invasion. Dodge found Goodwin guilty of the charges during a bench trial on July 8.
On April 9, Goodwin and his two accomplices, Paris Banks and cousin Robert Goodwin, illegally attempted entry into the house of Brian Brown, located on Ashton Road. The three men smashed the back door of the home and damaged the garage door. Authorities discovered evidence that at least one of the men had gained interior access.
“[Brown] came home unexpectedly, midday, and found the three of you attempting to break into his home,” Dodge said. “As he pulled into the driveway, all three of you came running from the back of his home to a car you had backed up to his garage. This is a home way off the road, so you clearly had no business being back there.”
When Brown confronted the trio about their presence on his property, they claimed to have been looking for directions to South Bend. When the homeowner went to contact police, the men fled in their vehicle, a red Mitsubishi SUV that was lent to them by Goodwin’s girlfriend.
“You were later apprehended by police walking in a corn field a short distance away, after abandoning the vehicle that was used in the home invasion,” Dodge said.
In his comments to the court, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz argued that Goodwin should receive a prison sentence for his actions.
“This was a dangerous episode,” he said. “The victim happened to be there and was part of the solution of the crime that the defendant and his compatriots were involved in.”
In comments he submitted to the court prior to sentencing, Goodwin maintained his innocence, claiming his conviction was a result of him being a “young, black, African-American,” Dodge said.
“I can assure you, from my standpoint, that had absolutely nothing to do with your conviction, which was solely the result of what I found to be overwhelming circumstantial evidence of your guilt,” he said.
Banks, 21, was found guilty of similar charges on July 16 by a Cass County jury. Robert Goodwin, 20, pleaded guilty to the same charges as his cousin on July 25.
The two are scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 15.
Also sentenced Friday:
• Michael Lee Maleski, 36, of Dowagiac, to two years of probation for the delivery/manufacture of marijuana.
• Carolyn Sue Wilson, 48, of Dowagiac, to 18 months probation for the theft and use of an ATM card.
• Russell Allen Dilley, 37, of Dowagiac, to 150 days in jail for resisting and obstructing police.
• Kelly Marie Starrett, 27, of Dowagiac, to 18 months probation for the delivery of Adderall.
• Dennis L. Ferrier, Jr., 29, of Cassopolis, to one year of probation for failing to comply with the sex offender registration act.
• Devin Dean Todd, 18, of Cassopolis, to three years of probation for meth related charges.