Domestic violence leaves trail of victims

Published 7:18 pm Saturday, July 10, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- Domestic violence's innocent victims waved goodbye to dad in Cass County Circuit Court Friday, while Michael Anthony Brooks was led away to jail.
Brooks, 43, of 307 Clay St., Benton Harbor, threatened his children's mother at her Dowagiac apartment in the early morning hours on May 9, 2004. Neighbors, hearing screams, called the police.
Judge Michael E. Dodge recounted how Brooks tried to choke her and pulled her back into the apartment as she tried to escape, locking her in.
The victim told the court how she realized he needed to be punished, but she also hated to have him away from his children too long.
Cass County Prosecutor VIctor Fitz described Brooks 27 prior misdemeanors and five felonies.
Brook's attorney, Dale Blunier of Edwardsburg, responded that he "has the potential to be a good person and father." He asked for a five-month sentence.
Dodge sentenced Brooks to 365 days in jail with 61 days credit time served.
Brooks is to pay $60 Crime Victims fee, and a $60 court assessment.
In other sentencings:
Jones was sentenced to 210 days in the Cass County Jail, with credit for 90 days. His license was suspended for 365 days.
He is to pay $60 Crime Victims fee, and a $60 court assessment.
On April 26, 2004 , she was found by Dowagiac Police walking with a gallon-sized plastic bag filled with smaller bags of marijuana.
She is to pay $60 Crime Victims fee, a $60 court assessment, and her license is suspended for 365 days.
Dodge said Sell had told Judge Deats he had a sinus problem. "He didn't believe you, nor do I," Dodge said.
He was sentenced to 180 days in the Cass County Jail, with credit for 65 days. He is to pay $60 Crime Victims fee and a $60 court assessment.
Rangel stole a purse from vehicle and used the victim's ATM card, on Jan. 13, 2004.
She is to pay $450 court costs, $350 attorney fee, $60 Crime Victims fee, a $60 court assessment and restitution of $415.
Dodge added Norman has an assault and battery and driving while suspended, since the thefts on Nov. 3 through Nov. 8, 2003.
Norman is on probation for 18 months and is to pay $250 attorney fees, $350 fine, $360 probation fees, $450 court costs, $60 Crime Victims fee, and two $60 court assessments.
He is to pay nearly $8,000 in back support, probation fees of $960, $450 court costs, $350 attorney fees, $60 Crime Victims fee, and a $60 court assessment.