Area man sentenced on malicious destruction of property, illegal entry charges

Published 10:12 am Monday, March 11, 2019

CASSOPOLIS — An area resident is going to prison for the Dowagiac area break-in he committed nearly two years ago.

Garry Duane Means, 55, was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to malicious destruction of property over $1,000 and illegal entry. He received a term of three to 10 years in prison on the property damage charge and credit for time served for the illegal entry charge.

Means must pay $1,548 in fines and costs as well as nearly $3,100 in restitution to Shirley and Glenn Stewart. He has credit for 351 days already served.

Garry Duane Means

The incident occurred April 15, 2017, at a location on Burmax Park in Dowagiac. Means broke into a camper on the property to have a place to sleep and eat.

“If there was a picture in the dictionary next to the definition of career criminal, it would be the defendant’s picture,” said Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz.

Fitz noted that Means’ record is a lengthy one that includes 16 felonies and nine misdemeanors. This new sentence is concurrent with the prison sentences Means is currently serving from Feb. 2, 2018, convictions for breaking and entering a coin operated device and possession of burglar tools.

In other sentencings:

• A Bristol, Indiana man who fled Indiana police before being stopped in Cass County was sentenced to a year in jail.

John Clare McLachlan, 26, of Bristol, pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous weapon as a habitual offender and was sentenced to 365 days in jail and $1,548 in fines and costs. He has credit for 60 days already served and can serve his sentence in any penal institution.

The incident occurred Jan. 7 when he was stopped on Cassopolis Road near Cassopolis after a high-speed chase. He was found to be in possession of brass knuckles and faces meth and other drug charges in Indiana.

“You were found to be in possession of brass knuckles which are not illegal in Indiana,” Cass Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “That’s what happens when you flee police into another state. You compounded your problems. That’s food for thought when you you’re fleeing police.”

• A Buchanan woman was sentenced to probation on theft related charges.

Jamie Lynn Jedlowski, 40, of South Detroit Street in Buchanan, pleaded guilty to false pretenses over $1,000 and writing checks on a closed account. She was sentenced to three years’ probation, $1,976 in fines and costs and $4,152.40 in restitution to Jeremy Clanton. She has credit for 97 days already served.

The incident occurred April 25, 2017, when she wrote a bad check for auto repairs at a Precision Auto on US-12 in Milton Township.

Jedlowski is currently on probation in the Berrien County Drug Treatment Court and was ordered to continue her participation there.

“You are an addict and have to address what triggers you,” Judge Herman said. “The real problem with treatment programs is when people get out and think they can use drugs a little socially.”

• A Dowagiac man was placed on probation after pleading guilty to drug and resisting police charges.

Ishmeal Rashaad Akui, 24, of Cleveland Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacture of narcotics and cocaine less than 50 grams, domestic violence, possession of marijuana and attempted resisting and obstructing police.

He was sentenced to two years’ probation, $1,938 in fines and costs and credit for two days already served on the delivery/manufacture charge, as well as credit for two days served and $1,000 on the other three charges.

The incident occurred Dec. 22, 2017, in a local park and then the 400 block of Cleveland Street in Dowagiac. Police responded to a call about a disturbance at the park and Akui attempted to hide from officers. He was found with marijuana, crack cocaine and cash when he was arrested.

Fitz said the situation painted a “disturbing picture” and called Akui a drug dealer who was doing more than just selling drugs to support his habit.

Defense attorney Paul Jancha disagreed and said Akui is working two jobs and had not been in trouble for more than a year.