Galien man given probation

Published 8:47 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

A Galien man found himself at a crossroads Monday as he received a probationary sentence after being convicted of two counts of attempted breaking-and-entering with intent, a five-year felony.

Stephen Haskins Jr., 29, of Galien was sentenced to two and a half years of probation and ordered to pay state fines, fees, costs and restitution.

The charges stem back to April and the property involved was part of the Galien Public Schools district.

Haskins’ defense claimed the defendant had, since the incident, become “clean and sober” and that it was his intention to continue to remain so in the future.

Restitution was set not to exceed $5,000. Prosecuting attorney Steve Pierangeli estimated the total loss in damaged property or stolen goods at $4,507.

Haskins said he was looking forward to the opportunity of being given the tools needed for rehabilitation, referring to the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program (KPEP).

“I’ve made some mistakes,” Haskins said.

He told the court he had grown up without his biological father and did not want to do the same to his own daughter, saying he was at a “fork in the road.”

“You’re right,” Schofield said. “You’re at a crossroads here. Your childhood wasn’t perfect and it’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility to do what you need to do. You get yourself the help you need to get to recover from that.

“Up until now,” Schofield said, “your choices have not been good. You are on the cusp of prison. You can make these felonies your last or you can violate your probation and go to prison.”

In addition to probation, Haskins was ordered to complete the KPEP program and following completion, to serve 90 days on tether.

“Last chance to avoid prison, Mr. Haskins,” Schofield said. “Take advantage of it.”