Burglary lands woman in jail

Published 10:18 am Monday, January 6, 2014

CASSOPOLIS — An Indiana woman who helped another person burglarize a Cassopolis residence was sentenced to five months in jail.

Melanie Hardy-Jewel, 29, of Elkhart, Ind., was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to 150 days in the Cass County Jail for one count of felony home invasion. She was also placed on two years probation.

On May 13, Jewel and another person, who hasn’t been apprehended, broke into a home on Starbrick Street in Cassopolis.

Jewel stood watch outside while the other person searched the home for valuables.

The homeowners returned to find Jewel still on their property. Jewel and her partner in crime fled the scene in a minivan. Jewel was later caught and identified by the victims.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Jewel should be ashamed of herself, adding that she has been employed for a total of five months in the past 11 years.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and this defendant is a clear example of that,” he said.

Jewel receives credit for 45 days already served.

Also Friday:

• Stephen Miller, 49, of Eau Claire, was sentenced to two years probation and one year in jail for driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Judge Michael Dodge said Miller had a blood alcohol content of .13 after he was pulled over by police on Reynolds Road in Dowagiac May 26. It was Miller’s third OWI offense, according to Fitz.

• Jason Murphy, 36, of Dowagiac, was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 62 days of jail with 62 days credit. He was convicted of possessing marijuana as a double penalty in November.

• Constance Taylor, 24, of Goodrich, was sentenced to two years probation and 30 days in jail on one count of possessing a controlled substance, Vicodin. Dodge suspended her sentence for sixth months to see if she can comply with the terms of her probation. If she does, she won’t have to serve any time in jail.

• Derrick Hiler, 22, of Dowagiac, was sentenced to two years probation on one count of possession of hydrocodone. To satisfy probation, Hiler will have to complete the court’s Swift and Sure treatment program.

• Fabian Warsaw, 37, of Dowagiac, was sentenced to two years probation and 120 days in jail for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Dodge said it was Warsaw’s fifth drunken driving conviction.