Drunken joy ride leads to prison time

Published 11:41 pm Friday, January 14, 2011

CASSOPOLIS — A drunken, reckless joy ride through a trailer park landed a Niles man in prison.

Jesse Kelems, 52, was sentenced to one to five years in prison on his third drunken driving conviction at Cass County Court Friday. Kelems will receive credit for 75 days already served.

The offense took place July 26 when Kelems was driving drunk through Marlin Village Trailer Park in Niles. He drove through a lawn and almost hit an 11-year-old boy before he was pulled over by police.

Judge Michael Dodge said Kelems has “a serious and long-standing problem with alcohol abuse” with his first drunken driving offense taking place in 1988.

Kelems is also facing methamphetamine-related charges in Berrien County.