Dowagiac man jailed for threatening to kill medical clinic employees

Published 9:46 am Monday, August 29, 2016

CASS COUNTY — A Dowagiac man who threatened to kill specific employees at a Dowagiac medical clinic in March will spend nine months in jail.

Gregory Darnell Williams, 53, of the 200 block of High Street, was sentenced to 270 days in the Cass County Jail on one count of attempted use of telecommunications to commit terrorism — a felony carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

The sentence stems from an incident on March 11 when Williams made a threatening phone call to the Borgess-Lee Medical Group clinic on Main Street.



According to Judge Michael Dodge, Williams told an employee that he was going to shoot and kill certain employees at the facility.

One of the victims — an employee at the clinic — who spoke at Friday’s sentencing hearing said the incident has undermined the sense of safety for herself and other clinic employees.

“We are worried about our safety,” she said.

Assistant Prosecutor Kirk Metzger echoed the victim’s statements, saying the threats had to be taken seriously in a time when mass shootings are becoming more commonplace.

“This is very serious,” he said. “Fortunately it did not go beyond the threat but this cannot be taken lightly.”

Williams’ attorney, Lanny Fisher, said his client, who suffers from mental health issues, never intended on following through with the threat, which was caused by a dispute over access to medications, according to the judge.

Fisher said his client would continue treatment upon being released from jail at a facility in South Bend, Indiana.

Williams receives credit for 170 days already served.

Also Monday:

• Shawn Tabbert, 21, of the 24700 block of Meade Street in Dowagiac, was sentenced to four years probation and 120 days in jail on one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing a serious injury. Upon release from jail, Tabbert must spend 120 days at the Twin County Probation Center and then successfully complete the county’s Adult Treatment Court program.

According to Judge Dodge, Tabbert was drunk when he crashed a vehicle into a tree on Lakeshore Drive outside of Dowagiac in the early morning hours of Nov. 14, 2015. Tabbert’s longtime girlfriend, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend for treatment of critical injuries.

Dodge said a preliminary breath test showed Tabbert had a blood alcohol level of .17, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury and remains hospitalized to this day, Dodge said.

• Jerry Dale Daniels, 61, of the 100 block of W. North Street in Marcellus, was sentenced to one year probation on one count of possession of methamphetamine.

• Joshua Vernon Bale, 22, of the 61600 block of Maple Street in Jones, was sentenced to 120 days in jail on one count of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

• Angelic Louise Meade, 43, of the 200 block of McOmber St. in Dowagiac, was sentenced to three years probation on one count of possession of methamphetamine. Meade was also ordered to successfully complete the Swift and Sure Sanctions program.