Niles man sentenced to jail in Cass Court for bad checks

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Niles Daily News
CASSOPOLIS -- Richard Elmon Smith, Jr., 36, 1226 Thompson Road, Niles made a "huge mistake," said Jason Ronning, chief assistant prosecuting attorney Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.
Smith paid $6,500 for a Bobcat with a check signed with a different name, on an account he knew was closed. This was on Aug. 4, 2003 at a business on M-62 in Edwardsburg. He also repeated the same offense, buying two motorcycles at a place on Elkhart Rd., in Edwardsburg later in the month.
Smith was sentenced by Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael E. Dodge to 90 days in the Cass County Jail, with credit for two days served. He will also be on probation for 18 months. He is to pay $100 month probation fees, $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, $450 court costs, and $303 restitution. He also has a concurrent sentence for uttering and publishing and will pay an additional $60 court assessment and $60 Crime Victim's Fee.
Lee, who has a history of mental problems is OK when he is taking his medication and not violent, said his attorney Dale Blunier. Previously he had hit a woman in Cassopolis killing her when he was driving 100 miles an hour in the center of town.
Lee was sentenced to 161 days in the Cass County Jail, with credit for 161. He was put on probation for one years and is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, $450 court costs, and $350 attorney fees.
Scott was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault and was released as he received time served, 135 days in the Cass County Jail. He is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, and $350 attorney fees.
He lead police on a high speed chase when they tried to stop him for improper plates and later learned the 1995 Honda was stolen. Burkett claimed he had paid $500 for the vehicle but had no bill of sale. Still on probation for a felony in Elkhart, Ind., Burkett also had two shotguns he had purchased from Lunkers in Edwardsburg with a bad check.
He was sentenced to 300 days in the Cass County Jail, with credit from 95 days. He is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, and $450 court costs and for fleeing police, 180 days to be served concurrently and $60 court assessment. Restitution will be determined later.
On New Year's Eve last year, about 10:30 p.m., York was stopped by Edwardsburg Police at U.S.-12 and Garver Lake Rd. York. He had no license on him and gave police another name, as there were outstanding warrants out for him. His mother was with him in the car and "helped him hide his identity," Dodge added. he tested at .14.
York was sent to prison for 18 months to five years, with credit for 65 days. He is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, $350 attorney fees and $500 fine.
Attorney Jim Miller argued she consented, but the parents of the 15-year-old victim both spoke to the court. "You raped her mentally," said the mother, "and told us you were 17. You never told the truth and took something away from her."
Hartline was on probation and had four other felonies including breaking and entering and arson over $1,000, Dodge added.
On July 27, 2003, he "trashed" his girl friend's apartment at 26529 Dutch Settlement Rd., Dowagiac. he broke a television and windows, and put bleach on her carpet and couch, Dodge said.
With Gaston's history of domestic violence toward the woman, who is the mother of his child, Dodge refused to honor attorney Miller's request for probation for Gaston.
He is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, $350 attorney fees and $450 court costs.
She was sentenced to 90 days in the Cass County jail, with credit for one day. She is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, $350 attorney fees and $450 court costs.
Dodge told Hays he needs to seek help, since he has "tried everything" and has a history of depression. Dodge sentenced him to 18 months probation. He is to pay $40 a month probation fees, $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victim's Fee, and $450 court costs.

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