Mom, dad, daughter receive jail sentences for selling drugs to school children in Edwardsburg

Published 11:34 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
EDWARDSBURG -- An Edwardsburg man, his wife and daughter each received jail terms Friday in Cass County Circuit Court for selling drugs to school children from an apartment across from the Edwardsburg Public Schools.
Sentenced to 572 days each in the Cass County Jail were Richard Dean Williams, 44, and Tina Renee Williams, 42.
Their daughter, Loretta Williams, 17, will serve 180 days in jail. They reside at 69315 Section Street, Apartment 16.
Circuit Judge Michael E. Dodge said to Richard Williams before sentencing, "Your criminal activity is despicable. It's a parent's worse nightmare. Parents send their children to school where students will be safe."
Dodge recounted it was Jan. 29 and 30 when Richard Williams sold a quantity of marijuana from their premises to Edwardsburg school students.
On Feb. 13, a search warrant was executed and found him to be in possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Dodge said his intent was to deliver crack cocaine. He said this drug activity was done in the presence of their granddaughter who is Loretta's six-month-old baby.
Dodge said Richard Williams used Loretta to solicit students, and his wife, Tina Williams, provided marijuana to them. He said Richard Williams was convicted of possession of cocaine in 1997 at a location within 1,000 feet of the Northside School in Elkhart in a Drug Free School zone, but that was dismissed. Michigan law allows that to be doubled from 40 years to 80 years. Dodge said he felt serious about sending Richard Williams to prison with his heavy sentencing guidelines but said he will give a substantial confinement period.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Richard Williams was involved in a very serious crime in the community selling to school children.
Richard Williams said he was sorry.
He received 270 days jail for maintaining a drug house, 180 concurrent days for possession of marijuana and 365 consecutive days for intent to deliver crack cocaine. He received credit for 63 days served and was imposed costs of $1,100. His driver's license was suspended for 365 days.
Tina Renee Williams cried as she said she was sorry about the kids. Dodge told her it was "deplorable" that she committed these crimes with her 17-year-old daughter and her granddaughter. He said she, too, could have received 80 years in prison for selling drugs in a Drug Free Zone. She also has a prior conviction and committed the crimes while on probation in Indiana.
She received 270 days for maintaining a drug house and a concurrent 180 days for possession of marijuana, a consecutive 365 days for possession with intent to deliver marijuana and a concurrent 365 days for possession with intent to deliver cocaine. She was credited for 63 days served and was ordered to pay $1,160 in costs. Her driver's license was suspended for 365 days.
Regarding Loretta Williams, Fitz told the court that this was "sad and despicable behavior."
He said a mother should not have to endanger her child. She endangered her friends and children she brought into their drug house.
Blunier said Loretta was "very unsophisticated." It was the home she had with a six-month-old child. She has been separated from her child. She doesn't have a lot of schooling or learning. She was challenged socially. He asked for her time to be spent at KPEP, a Kalamazoo probation center.
She said she was sorry and sorry for her daughter whom she loved more than anything.
Dodge said it was a sad situation. "You have been convicted of three felony charges of delivery of marijuana at a young age of 17. Your parents didn't do you any favors. They did a bad thing. I think you knew it was wrong even though you thought you were doing favors by providing weed to your friends." He said Loretta temporarily lost custody of her child, and it could be permanent.
Loretta was caught when she sold marijuana to an undercover police informant.
Dodge imposed 180 concurrent days jail for all three convictions less 52 days served and two years of probation to be served alternately at the KPEP center in Kalamazoo. "Your parents let you down. You have an opportunity to rise above your parents and keep your child," Dodge said. She was ordered to pay $1,160 in costs, and her driver's license was suspended for 180 days.
In another Edwardsburg drug-related sentencing on Friday, Kimberly Ann Nelson, 32, 60315 Section Street, Apartment 2, Edwardsburg, received 365 days in jail less 49 days served for possession of methamphetamine on Feb. 28 at Section Street and U.S. 12 in Edwardsburg. She was ordered to pay $920 in costs, and her driver's license was suspended for 365 days.
Other sentencings on Friday are as follows:
* Jack Larue Blackamore, 28, 108 Cherry Street, Dowagiac, received 365 days in jail less 110 days served and two years of probation for delivery of cocaine less than 50 grams on July 23 on Cherry Street in Dowagiac. He was ordered to pay $1,880 in costs and a $300 fine.
* Deborah Sue Brown, 40, 204 Haines Street, Marcellus, received fives months jail and 18 months probation for third-offense domestic violence when she got into a lover's quarrel with her female friend on Feb. 24 at the same address. She was imposed $1,000 in costs.
* Clara Ann Peters, 45, 207 Grand Boulevard, Dowagiac, received 180 days jail less 51 days served for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams on Aug. 8 in Dowagiac. She was imposed costs of $920 and may be released after 150 days if her fines are paid.
* Pecolia Perkins, 37, 409 Walnut Street, Dowagiac, received a concurrent 36-month-to- 15-year prison term for assaulting an officer causing bodily injury and assaulting a jail employee on Jan. 23, 2003, (ok) while being jailed pending another felony offense. She assaulted one officer with a pen found on her possession and spit on another officer. She must pay $240 in costs and $1,000 in attorney fees.