Cass County man sentenced for pulling gun in fight

CASSOPOLIS – An Edwardsburg man with a criminal record from his teen years is going back to prison.

Daltin Lee Bice, 24, of Third Street in Edwardsburg, was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to three to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm as a habitual offender. He must pay fines and costs of $1,198.

He has credit for no time served as he was on parole at the time of the incident. The three-year prison term he received Friday is consecutive to any prison he receives from violating his parole from 12 2013 convictions.

Daltin Lee Bice

He was sentenced to prison in 2013 for safebreaking, larceny over $20,000, breaking and entering and nine other charges. He was paroled in April 2017.

The current incident occurred Oct. 15, 2018, at a location in the 15000 block of US-12 near Union. Police were called when Bice and another individual got into a fight. Bice left and returned with a gun which he pointed at the other person. The loaded gun was taken away from him and thrown onto US-12. Bice fled the scene but was later arrested.

“Sadly, at age 24, he is someone the public needs to be protected from,” said Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz. “In this incident, he had a gun pointed at a person’s chest and it could have resulted in murder.

“I’m heartened that the defendant has asked for forgiveness, but I would remind him that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and that actions speak louder than words.”

Defense attorney Lanny Fisher noted that Bice was months away from being discharged from parole and had been doing reasonably well up until this incident. He pointed out that Bice’s past record dates back to when he was 16 or 17.

“I do regret what I did,” Bice said. “I look forward to getting out and starting my life again. I made a big mistake.”

Cass County Circuit Court Judge Mark Herman addressed Bice during sentencing Friday.

“You probably weren’t there to use a firearm,” Herman said. “But when you introduce it into a situation, bad things can happen.

“The guidelines call for prison and at this point, there’s not a whole lot the court can do,” he added. “I wish you good luck. You’re still a young man, and you need to get your anger issues under control.”

In other sentencings:

• A Dowagiac man was sentenced to a year in jail after fleeing police.

Anthony Allen Miller, 28, of Peavine Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree fleeing police as a habitual offender and was sentenced to 365 days in jail. He must pay $1,548 in fines and costs. He has credit for 49 days already served.

The incident occurred Nov. 16 in Dowagiac. Police attempted to pull him over as they searched for a possible murder suspect. He fled and was stopped at Flanders and Twin Lake Streets.

“This is the third time you’ve been before me in two years,” Judge Herman said. “You’re 28 years old and don’t seem to be going anywhere. You absconded from probation and are still using meth. I’m going to give you one less opportunity. You need to get your head around your drug problem. If you come back again, you’re going to prison.”

• An Edwardsburg man found with 75 pounds of marijuana and related products at his home is going to jail.

Travis James Peacock, 36, of Stateline Road in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance, marijuana, and was sentenced to three years probation, 90 days in jail and $2,378 in fines, costs and restitution.

Police searching his home on March 2, 2018, found a total of 75 pounds of marijuana, plant materials and marijuana edibles as well as over $30,000 in cash.

“You acknowledge what you did was wrong,” Herman said. “It’s hard to understand why you put your wife and children in jeopardy.”

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