Man jailed for stabbing friend

Published 8:22 am Monday, July 13, 2015

Despite stabbing his friend during a drunken argument, Edwardsburg’s Clinton James Majors was told by his victim that he had forgiven him for his actions.

Clinton James Majors

Clinton James Majors

He was not forgiven, though, by Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge, as he found out during his appearance in county court Friday morning.

Dodge sentenced Majors, 45, to one year in jail for a single felony count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Majors had pleaded guilty to the charge during an earlier appearance in court on June 4.

The attack took place on May 18, at a residence at the Eagle Lake Estates mobile home park, located on North Shore Drive in Edwardsburg. An argument with his friend, Reginald Warren, also of Edwardsburg, escalated into violence, with Warren striking Majors several times on the back of the head. In response, Majors pulled out a pocketknife and stabbed the other man.

“Both of you had been drinking at the time,” Dodge said. “That certainly explains a lot.”

A preliminary Breathalyzer test performed by police officers responding to the scene confirmed this fact, Dodge said.

Warren was present in the courtroom that morning, but did not wish to speak —Chief Assistant Prosecutor Frank Machnik did however tell the judge that the victim had written a letter stating that while he felt his trust had been violated, he forgave his attacker, stating, “I love you my friend.”

“However, this is an incredibly brutal assault,” Machnik said. “He [Warren] was basically stabbed in the back by his friend, literally.”

Majors’ attorney, Daniel French, argued that the defendant was responding to the violence that had already been inflicted on him, pointing out the massive welt that was still on the back of his head, which Majors said was caused by his friend’s initial blow with an axe handle.

“This was not an unprovoked matter,” French said. “This was an argument between two friends that escalated and got out of control.”

Speaking directly to the Judge, Majors said that still considered Warren his friend, though he has since moved out of the mobile home park where the attack took place. Saying he will never come into contact with the defendant again, Majors asked to be sentenced to a term of probation.

With a prior record of four felonies and four misdemeanors, Dodge decided against placing him on probation, instead punishing him with a jail sentence on the lower end of the guideline range, he said.

“The circumstances of this case, combined with your past history, does not convince the court you are a suitable candidate for probation,” Dodge said.

Majors was given 54 days credit for time already served. He was also given the opportunity for release after 300 days, upon full payment of his court fees.

Also sentenced Friday:

• Bryan Lee Garland, of Edwardsburg, to 150 days in jail for possession and manufacture/delivery of marijuana.

• Randolph Scott Warren, of South Bend, to 180 days in jail for possession of marijuana, reckless driving and fleeing from police.

• Joseph James Chandler, 41, of White Pigeon, to six years in prison for meth related charges.

• Joseph Andrew Fortuna Jr., 24, of Edwardsburg, to six months in jail for possession of an analogue substance.