Man jailed for evading police arrest

Published 11:02 am Monday, March 14, 2016

A Dowagiac man who hid in a crawl space inside his home in attempt to avoid being locked up will be residing in a jail cell after all.

Marvin Hill

Marvin Hill

Judge Michael Dodge sentenced 32-year-old Marvin Hill Jr. to 180 days in jail on a single charge of resisting/obstructing a police officer during his appearance in Cass County Friday morning. The Dowagiac man pleaded guilty to the charge during an earlier court date, on Feb. 4.

According to the judge, the incident in question occurred Jan. 24, when a Michigan State Police trooper arrived at Hill’s residence on Bradley Street to arrest Hill for an outstanding warrant.

Upon entering the home, the officer met with one of Hill’s family members, who falsely told the trooper that Hill wasn’t at the home. Continuing his search of the house, the officer located the man hiding in a crawl space located in an upstairs bedroom.

Around this time, two officers with the Dowagiac Police Department arrived to provide backup. When the three police officers ordered Hill to show his hands and prove he was unarmed, he refused, causing the officers to draw their guns.

After coming out of the crawl space, Hill continued to be uncooperative with police, confronting the officers over the fact they had upholstered their weapons in his house. Eventually, one of the officers had to restrain the man in order to take him into custody.

“Clearly this was a very dangerous situation,” Dodge said. “This could have easily resulted in your death or one of the [officers] if something had gone haywire in terms of your resistance. … All of this could have been easily avoided if you first of all did not hide and secondly if you had cooperated with the officers’ demands.”

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, in his statement to the court, described Hill as a “selfish, selfish man,” who chose to hide out in a bedroom belonging to his children because he wasn’t ready to go jail, Fitz said. Pointing out Hill’s past criminal record, which includes two prior convictions for resisting/obstructing police, the officers involved in the incident had every right to be on guard when the defendant refused to follow their orders, Fitz added.

“When you’re unlawful and you endanger other people, including your own family, there are consequences,” Fitz said.

Hill’s attorney, Gregory Feldman, said in contrast to the prosecution’s “grim” description of his client’s past record, Hill has only had a single run-in with law enforcement since 2007, a drunk driving arrest in the state of Indiana. With his client recently gaining employment with a factory in town, Feldman asked that Dodge impose a probation sentence that would suspend jail time or allow for work release in order for Hill to retain his job and continue providing for his family.

“I’ve learned my lesson, and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Hill said on his behalf to the judge.

While acknowledging that Hill has cleaned up his act considerably over the last nine years, Dodge decided that a straight jail sentence was appropriate punishment for this latest offense, given the fact the defendant had violated four prior terms of probation, the judge said.

Hill was given credit for 26 days already served behind bars.

Also sentenced Friday:

• Logan Gleen Lamons, 25, of Marcellus, to 150 days in jail for failure to comply with reporting duties as a sex offender.

• Christopher William Ledford, 25, of Dowagiac, to 210 days in jail for failure to register as a sex offender, second offense.

• Robert Jason Rupley, 38, of Centreville, Michigan, to three years of probation for larceny.