Indiana residents apprehended at Pete’s Southside Marathon face judge

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

NILES — The co-defendants involved in a string of crimes that started in Indiana and ended with police apprehension at Pete’s Southside Marathon, 1293 S. 11th St., were sentenced Monday.

Marc Fritz, 30, a homeless man from South Bend, was charged with accessory after the fact. He pleaded guilty to the felony offense on Jan. 16. Judge Charles LaSata sentenced him to 210 days in jail. Fritz was on parole when he committed the crime, so he did not get credit for prior jail time served. He was also ordered to pay $258 in fines and costs.

Kelly Scroggins, 34, of the 1200 block of Lawton Street in Elkhart, was charged with larceny from a person and resisting and obstructing a police officer. Scroggins pleaded guilty to the felonies Jan. 23. For the first charge, she was sentenced to a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 120 months in prison. For the second charge, she was sentenced to 140 days in jail. She has credit for 140 days served. The sentences will be served concurrently. She was ordered to pay $198 in fines and costs.

Marc Fritz

Kelly Scroggins

The incident occurred on Oct. 23, 2018, at Pete’s Southside Marathon in Niles. The Niles Police Department had been contacted by St. Joseph County authorities who said a silver car involved in an Indiana robbery was headed north to the Michigan state line. Shortly after the call, police were dispatched to Pete’s Southside on a call of an armed robbery in progress, according to court records.

Once on the scene, a clerk told police that Scroggins had slipped her a note asking for all the money in the register. Scroggins then said, “keep your mouth shut and no one gets hurt.” The clerk, however, refused to give her the money. Scroggins left the station with a bag of merchandise from the store.  Police detained Scroggins and Fritz at the scene. Scroggins was found to have a knife in one of her pockets. No one was injured during the incident.

After executing a search warrant on the 2007 Chevy Equinox occupied by Scroggins and Fritz, police located .9 grams of meth and the burnt ends of three marijuana cigarettes.

Defense attorney Scott Sanford said his client had been grieving the death of her twin sister when she committed the crime.

“Although she had a knife in her pocket, there is no allegation that she ever brandished it or threatened anybody with it,” Sanford said. “I would equate this more to a shoplifting case, judge, than armed robbery.”

He recommended community supervision from the probation office and substance abuse treatment.

However, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jane Wainwright said the defendant’s involvement in crimes across state lines Oct. 23 indicated a pattern of behavior.

“The defendant definitely should get some prison time for this case,” Wainwright said. “What she did was very serious and involved an armed robbery at a gas station. Just prior to that, she did another armed robbery at another gas station where she did display the actual knife, your honor. Those actions are definitely deserving of prison.”

Scroggins said she had made “a horrible mistake” the day she committed the crimes.

“I will not be back here if you just give me a chance,” Scroggins said. “I have never done this before. I don’t know what came over me.”

Scroggins admitted to being high on meth when she committed the crimes.

While LaSata said he noticed a positive change in her behavior since her arraignment in October, he said he was going to follow guidelines for sentencing.

“Quite frankly, we need to protect the community from your criminal behavior,” LaSata said.