Conviction rate is 91 percent
Published 10:58 pm Thursday, February 2, 2006
CASSOPOLIS - The Cass County Prosecutor's Office last Thursday announced a 91-percent felony jury conviction rate for 2005.
Felony jury activity for the year was highlighted by the trial of Donald Parks, a 27-year-old man who brutally beat his 2-year-old child to death in the village of Cassopolis.
The defendant was convicted of felony murder and first-degree child abuse. Parks was later sentenced to mandatory life in prison.
The prosecutor's office also had particular success in 2005 drug cases, posting a 100-percent felony jury trial conviction rate for those offenses.
This marks the third year in a row that Fitz's office posted a 100-percent felony drug jury conviction rate.
Other major felony trial action during the past year included the Cottage Inn Tavern robbery.
In that vicious incident, armed criminals burst into the former Dowagiac-area business with a gun and other weapons.
One patron was shot and seriously wounded and others beat with a baseball bat. Defendant Derrick Deals was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery in his September 2005 jury trial and sentenced to 14 to 30 years prison.
Prosecutor Fitz noted that “The entire prosecution staff worked hard with law enforcement to achieve these results. The bottom line is that criminals are being held accountable and justice is being achieved.”