Man steals grandfather’s guns from their home in Dowagiac
Published 12:58 am Thursday, March 30, 2006
By By NORMA LERNER / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - Benjamin Couch, 22, of Lawrence, broke into his grandparents' home in Dowagiac where he stole more than $14,000 worth of guns, jewelry and other valuables. On Friday in Cass County Circuit Court, Couch hung his head low with his face beet red as he received a prison sentence for second-offense home invasion and larceny of firearms.
Judge Michael Dodge said Couch now has five felony convictions since last year in November when he invaded two homes in Van Buren County. Dodge said he made sure his grandparents were not at home when he invaded it on Feb. 20, 2005.
Without looking at his grandfather and family members who where sniffling during the sentencing hearing, Couch said he was sorry.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz said robbing his grandparents' home was callous. His grandparents trusted him, raised him and loved him. Dodge added, Couch was upset with what he did, but prison is what he deserved. Fitz said Couch is intelligent and went to Kalamazoo Valley College. Dodge hoped he would complete his college degree while in prison.
Couch received 18 months to five years each for two counts of larceny of firearms and 24 months to 15 years for second-degree home invasion.
He was ordered to pay restitution of $17,016 and $960 in court costs.
Other sentencings from Friday are as follows:
Courtney Martin, 23, 414 North Third St., Niles, received two years probation and credit for time served of 63 days for delivery/manufacturing cocaine less than 50 grams on Jan 21 on Budlow Street, Dowagiac.
He is to pay a probation fee of $960 and $570 in court costs.
David Gross, 37, 1110 Herbert St., Niles, received 180 days jail each for second-offense possession of marijuana on Oct. 18, 2005, on Michigan-62, Dowagiac, and second-offense resisting a police officer on Oct. 6, 2004, on Peavine Street, Dowagiac. Gross ran from police after being stopped for speeding on the first offense and did not have a driver's license.
He also possessed marijuana. He is to pay $240 court costs and $73 restitution.
Richard Florian, 56, 24587 Flanders, Dowagiac, received 18 months probation and 120 days jail for maintaining a drug house on March 26, 2005, on Third Avenue, Dowagiac.
He is to pay a probation fee as determined and $960 in court costs.
William Milligan, 43, 420 Maple St., Dowagiac, received 120 days jail for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams January 19 on Andrew Street, Dowagiac.
He is to pay $120 restitution and $120 in court costs.
Michael Moore, whose address is listed as the Cass County Jail, received 365 days jail with credit for 394 served for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver less than 50 grams on Nov., 4, 1999, on East Street, Cassopolis.
His term is concurrent with two federal documents.
He is to pay $120 court costs and restitution of $137.
Christopher Cleveland, 20, 50250 Wickett Road, Decatur, received two years probation for possession with intent to deliver marijuana Sept. 14 on Dutch Settlement Street, Cassopolis.
He is to pay $960 probation fee and $570 court costs.
Melissa Pearson, 26, 26796 Hamilton St., Edwardsburg, received two years probation plus 90 days jail suspended for 10 months for possession of methamphetamine on Aug. 5 on Hamilton Street. Her jail time will be dropped if she meets her probation terms.
She is to pay $57 restitution and $570 court costs.
Timothy May, 25, 13733 West Brookwood, Gobles, received two years probation for possession of marijuana on Dec. 27 and resisting and obstructing a police officer on Beeson Street, Dowagiac.
He must also serve 90 days jail for the resisting and obstructing conviction. He punched a police officer in the Beeson Street Bar in Dowagiac.
May is to pay a $960 probation fee and $510 court costs.
Clifton Farley, 28, 69611 Sunset Blvd., Union, received two years probation for possession of methamphetamine and credit for time served of 186 days for intent to deliver marijuana and maintaining a drug house on Sept. 15 on Sunset Boulevard.
He is to pay a $960 probation fee, $113 restitution and $1,040 Court costs.
Aaron Manes, 19, 14260 U.S. 12, Union, received two years probation for possession with intent to deliver marijuana on Oct. 9 on U.S. 12, Union.
He is to pay a probation fee to be determined and $570 in court costs.
Stuart Miller, 38, of 57483 Beverly Drive, Elkhart, Ind. received two years probation, six months jail for operating/maintaining a methamphetamine lab on Sherman Road, Edwardsburg, on Oct. 6.
He is to pay a $960 probation fee and $570 in court costs.
Jason Potter, 25, 286 West Arbor, Marcellus, received 210 days jail for attempted felonious assault when he tried to run down a woman with his vehicle on Main Street, Marcellus, on Oct.20.
He is to pay $120 court costs.
Kevin Krueger, 32, 51682 Ironwood, Granger, received 18 months probation for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams on May 30 on Michigan-60, Niles.
He is to pay a $450 probation fee and $920 court costs.
Michael Berry, 45, 57644 Kekyajek, Dowagiac, received two years probation plus 240 days jail for felonious assault Jan. 1 in his home. Berry assaulted the son of his girlfriend by stabbing him with a knife causing treatment at a hospital. He is to pay a $960 probation fee and $920 court costs.
Laura Bartley, 43, 17489 Hawk St., Cassopolis, received two years probation for possession of marijuana on Sept. 26 on U.S. 12, Union, and credit for time served of two days for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams.
She is to pay a probation fee of $240 probation fee, $1,020 in court costs and $125 restitution.