Accessory to 2019 Cass County Courts bomb threat sentenced to prison

CASSOPOLIS — The woman who was an accessory after the fact in last year’s bomb threat into the Cass County Law & Courts Building has been sentenced to prison.

Cassandra Lynn Jackson, 27, of School Street in Dowagiac, was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court in three different cases including the one involving the bomb threat as well as two cases involving drugs.

She was sentenced to three years to seven and a half years in prison with credit for 317 days served and $1,548 in fines and costs for being an accessory after the fact to the bomb threat as a habitual offender. She also was sentenced to 317 days served and $68 for maintaining a drug house as a habitual offender on the same occasion.

She was sentenced to three to 15 years in prison with credit for 135 days served and $698 in fines and costs for possession of meth as a habitual offender as well as 28 months to 15 years in prison with credit for 326 days served and $698 in fines and costs for possession of meth as a habitual offender. All the prison terms are concurrent.

Those latter two incidents occurred July 9, 2019 in Cassopolis and June 17, 2020 in Edwardsburg.

The accessory after the fact incident occurred June, 21, 2019, when she assisted Patrick McMeeken to hide evidence of the bomb threat. He was sentenced in June to six to 20 years in prison for making a false report or threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime.

The June 21, 2019, incident caused both the Cass County Administration Building in downtown Cassopolis and the Law & Courts Building on M-62 to be evacuated for a few hours. The sheriff’s department received two phone calls that morning indicating that a bomb had been placed inside the Law & Courts Building and was set to go off.

“Obviously she’s been engaged in criminal activity since she was a juvenile,” Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Hubbert said. “Her association with Mr. McMeeken made it worse. It’s an unfortunate situation she has put herself in.”

Defense attorney James Miller said Jackson needs to make changes in her life.

“She needs to figure out how to change just about everything in her lifestyle,” he said. “Coming back to Cass County would be convenient and comfortable for her but it would put herself back into the same situation.”

Jackson herself asked for a chance to get treatment for her drug addiction. In addition to the charges she was sentenced on Friday, she also faces warrants from Tennessee including one for absconding.

“I can’t say I disagree. You need help,” Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “Unfortunately, my hands are tied with the additional warrants from Tennessee.”

Judge Herman noted that Jackson shut down McMeeken’s computer when he called her from jail after the June 2019 bomb threat. In the other cases, he noted that she was found with drugs when stopped by police.

“It’s apparent to the court that community supervision is not a viable option,” he said. “I see nothing to mitigate a prison term.”

A Dowagiac man who assaulted a woman twice this year was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to a year in jail.

James Michael Wright, 38, of Lakeshore Drive in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic violence as a habitual offender and was sentenced to five years’ probation, 365 days in jail with credit for 87 days already served and fines and costs of $4,046.

The incidents occurred Feb. 14 and Aug. 6 at a home in Silver Creek Township.

“You’re 48 years old, you’re old enough to know that assaulting a woman is not the way to solve differences,” Judge Herman said. “Next time you come back, you will go to prison.”

Other sentencings include:

  • Kenneth Allen Craig, 37, of Stateline Road in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to third offense domestic violence on June 10 and was sentenced to two years’ probation, credit for 22 days served and $2,268 in fines and costs. He was also sentenced to credit for three days in jail, $625 for domestic violence in May 2019 incident.
  • Bunnarong Lay, 37, of Bristol, Indiana, pleaded guilty to possession of analogues and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, credit for 78 days served and $2,148 in fines and costs. The incident occurred Jan. 26 in Dowagiac.
  • Laura Jean Peck, 39, of Silver Lake, Indiana, pleaded guilty to possession of meth and delivery/manufacture of marijuana and was sentenced to credit for 98 days served and $1,616 in fines and costs from a Jan. 28, 2016 incident in Edwardsburg. She was given credit for 39 days served and $698 in fines and costs from absconding before her 2016 sentencing.
  • Daryl Victor Purucker, 38, of Bertrand Street in Niles, pleaded guilty to third offense drunk driving and was sentenced to three years’ probation, 30 days in jail and $2,948 in fines and costs. The incident occurred June 17 when he was stopped on U.S. 12 and had a blood alcohol level of .122.

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