Dowagiac man sentenced to probation on drug charges

CASSOPOLIS – An Elkhart man who said he was thankful to be arrested last fall has been sentenced to probation Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Jonathan Dewayne Morgan, 43, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamines and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, credit for three days served, six-month driver’s license suspension and $1,738 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred Oct. 5, 2019, in the city of Dowagiac. Police found Morgan in his pickup truck in a city park in the early morning hours of that day. A search of his car found syringes, meth and marijuana.

“You said you pulled into the park to get some rest,” said Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman. “You seem to be thankful for your arrest and said that it got you from being too far gone on drugs … I hopefully you realize what you have to lose.

“You’re 43 years old and this is your first felony,” the judge added. “You’re employed, you have your associate’s degree and you started using meth a year ago. It’s always hard for me to understand how someone your age starts using meth. I can understand young people being pressured by others, but it’s hard for me to understand for adults.”

In another sentencings, an Edwardsburg man who threw beer bottles at others on Stone Lake last August and then assaulted police was also sentenced to probation.

Kevin Scott Fletcher, 25, of Sheridan Drive in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced to two years’ probation, credit for 67 days already served and $2,268 in fines and costs. He also pleaded guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to $300 in fines and costs and credit for 67 days served.

The incident occurred Aug. 10 on Stone Lake in Cassopolis. Fletcher threw bottles at people on a sand bar in the lake. He swam away from police officers who tried to arrest him and then had to be wrestled to the ground when he got on land. His blood alcohol level was .17.

One of the people he threw bottles at spoke before the sentencing. He said he and others were enjoying themselves that day when they were attacked by Fletcher and others.

“I am encouraged that he said this was an eye-opening experience for him,” the man said. “Hopefully this is a moment that will make a difference to him. I’m a big fan of people making a change and I hope he can make a change.”

Fletcher apologized for his actions and said he was sorry to those affected that day including the police.

“I want to get my life together,” he said. His attorney, James Miller, said he thinks Fletcher can turn his life around if he gets help for his substance abuse problems and changes who he surrounds himself with.

Judge Herman noted that the situation could have had a much different outcome with, Fletcher facing a misdemeanor rather than felony charge if he had not fought with police.

“Fighting with police will never get you anywhere,” he said. “You say you want to change, now is the time to prove it and get your life in order.”

In other sentencings:

  • A Cassopolis man who passed a counterfeit $100 bill at the Cassopolis Rite Aid was sentenced to probation.

Kody Lee Tangeman, 22, of Tharp Lake Road, Cassopolis, was found guilty earlier this year at trial of uttering and publishing and possession of a counterfeit bill and was sentenced Friday to one year probation, credit for seven days served and $1,908 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred June 5, 2019, in Cassopolis when he tried to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at the Cassopolis Rite Aid. He had previously been on probation for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in St. Joseph County, Michigan.

  • Bradley Charles Lee, Sr., 50, of East York Street in Cassopolis, pleaded to third offense domestic violence and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, credit for one day served and $2,088 in fines and costs.
  • Austin John Wallace, 22, of Marcellus, pleaded guilty to possession of meth and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, credit for three days served, six months license suspension and $2,088 in fines and costs. He also pleaded guilty to impaired driving and was sentenced to credit for three days served and $550.

The incident occurred Jan. 11 in Marcellus. He got stuck on a road and then admitted to police he had been drinking and had a meth pipe in his truck. His blood alcohol level was .27.

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