Drunk driver delivers unwanted wake-up call

Published 3:34 pm Saturday, May 29, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- The alarm which woke Brian and Richey Bannow at 1 a.m. at their home at 309 N. Lowe St., Dowagiac April 14 this year, wasn't of their choosing.
Attempted to elude police, Ronald Johnson, 48, 313 East St. Mary's St., Decatur, lost control of his vehicle and ran into the Bannow's porch -- just four to six feet from the couch in the family room where she was sleeping.
Debris from the porch ended up damaging their car, Brian, who was in a back bedroom, added.
The Dowagiac and Cass County Sheriff's Department officers were pursuing Bannow, who was intoxicated, at speeds of 100 miles an hour.
Refusing tests, a court order allowed for a blood test which showed a blood alcohol level of .12.
Johnson was given to concurrent sentences by Cass County Circuit Judge Michael E. Dodge Friday morning to 365 days in the Cass County Jail, with credit for two days for fleeing; and 180 days for driving while intoxicated.
He is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victims' Fund, $450 court costs, $350 attorney fees, and $250 fine.
In other sentencings:
Bridges, 22, 69315 Section St., Edwardsburg, was arrested by the Michigan State Police along with her boyfriend Shawn Dyda and his brother Eric, on Sept. 10, 2002. She and Shawn had two children, with her giving birth following the arrest, and later they married. Shawn, received a six year prison sentence. Eric received one year in the Cass County Jail.
Though Dodge said he had received a letter from her father-in-law saying she deserved at least as long a sentence as Eric, he saw differences which effected his sentencing decision.
She has been on "unofficial probation since September," said Dodge. "If you fail," he warned, "you are looking at least six months in jail."
The "location was a drug clearinghouse," said Prosecuting Attorney VIctor Fitz. "I know it is a serious crime," her attorney, Dale Blunier said. "She is working very hard." Dodge received favorable reports from her employment, church, Shawn and her mother.
Pleading with Dodge, Bridges said, "I would thank God for a second chance."
She will be on probation for two years and her driver's license is suspended for six months. She is to pay $40 a month probation fee, $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victims' Fund, $450 court costs, and $350 attorney fees.
Alerted by Judd employees, Hannapel Home Center had police waiting when Patterson came to pick up a vanity purchased with another of the checks at the Dowagiac business on Feb. 11, 2004.
He was driving on Aug. 23, 2003, on a suspended license when Edwardsburg police tried to make a traffic stop.
He was sentenced to 90 days and 60 days in the Cass County Jail, with one day credit, to be served concurrently. He is on probation for two years and will pay $2,400 in probation fees, along with $100 court assessments, $60 Crime Victims' Fund, and $450 court costs.
Already having a serious juvenile record, Hamman was sentenced to 150 days in the Cass County jail, with credit for two days, and two years probation. He may served his time at the Twin County Probation Center.
He is to pay $60 court assessment, $60 Crime Victims' Fund, $450 court costs, $350 attorney fees, $350 fine, and $360 probation fees.