Benton Harbor man sentenced on drug, drunk driving charges

NILES – A Benton Harbor man was sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court to probation and tether on drug and drunk driving charges.

Reginald Lakeith Collins, 50, of Benton Harbor, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine second offense and driving while impaired and was sentenced to two years’ probation, 90 days tether, 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and $598 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred Sept. 3, 2019, in Oronoko Township when police stopped him for speeding on the U.S. 31 freeway and found the drugs.

Collins had initially been charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine and driving with a high blood alcohol content.

Trial court proceedings continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with court buildings closed to the public and many court proceedings adjourned or done virtually.

Berrien County Chief Trial Judge Mabel Mayfield said late last week that the county courts are working to comply with orders issued by the Michigan Supreme Court. The high court has directed all state courts to re-open in a four-phase approach. Restrictions on in-person services remain in effect until May 28 when the current stay home executive order expires.

“We have maintained regular communication with the Berrien County Health Department and the State Court Administrators Office,” Judge Mayfield said. “Consistent with direction from the Michigan Supreme Court we have conducted virtual court proceedings wherever possible.”

“We are hopeful within a few days to share specifics regarding our Phase One approach to ‘Return to Full Capacity’ response to COVID-19 for Michigan’s Judiciary,” she added.

The trial court in Berrien County has put a number of services online in recent weeks. People can visit the trial court page on the www.berriencounty.org website to request videos of court proceedings, view court dockets and find other online services.

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