Niles teen who fled police will get probation

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, January 26, 2021

NILES — A 17 year-old Niles teen arrested for fleeing police and probation violation was in Berrien County Trial Court via Zoom on Monday for sentencing.

The teen pled guilty to fourth degree fleeing and eluding and was sentenced to two years of probation and 56 days in jail with credit for 56 days served.

In Michigan, fleeing and eluding is where a driver of a motor vehicle willfully fails to stop for a police or conservation officer. The officer could be signaling an individual to stop by emergency light, voice command, siren, by hand, or using some other audible or visual signal.

Fourth degree fleeing and eluding involves a driver fleeing by increasing the speed of their vehicle, or by turning off their headlights in an attempt to hide from police.

This is a felony under Michigan law, with a maximum punishment of up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000 or both.

The teen was also sentenced to 180 days on tether and a six-month curfew for violating their probation. They were sentenced to three years of probation stemming from an unarmed robbery guilty plea in 2019.

The teen will also pay $198 in costs and fees.

“You cannot afford to keep thinking like a 17-year-old,” said Berrien County Trial Court Judge Sterling R. Schrock. “If you keep thinking like that, you’re going to end up with another violation.”

In other sentencings:

  • Allison Valenti pleaded guilty to the use of controlled substances and attempted first degree retail fraud and was sentenced to two years of probation and 13 days in jail with credit for 13 served.

Valenti’s driving privileges were suspended for 365 days and she was ordered to pay $927 including $429 in restitution to Lowe’s.

“I recognize I made poor decisions,” Valenti said. “I need to be a leader instead of a follower. I’m embarrassed by it. It’s hard for me to accept that I didn’t do what was right.”

  • Corey Montgomery, of Niles, was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to larceny in a building.

Montgomery was ordered to seek substance abuse treatment after admitting that he committed larceny because he owed drug dealers money for methamphetamine. He was also ordered to pay $1,733.

  • Kyler Scott Deveney, of Niles, was sentenced to two years’ probation for illegal use of a financial transaction device and breaking and entering a vehicle with intent to steal less than $200 and 64 days in jail with credit for 64 for use of methamphetamine.

Deveney must enroll in a jobs program and was ordered to pay $839 in costs and fees, which includes the victim’s restitution.

  • Brian Lawson, of Niles, was sentenced to two years of probation for attempting to receive and conceal a stolen motor vehicle and 39 days in jail with credit for 39 for use of methamphetamine.

Lawson’s driving privileges were suspended and he was ordered to pay $658 in costs and fees.

“I’m gonna get out there and turn my life around,” he said. “I want to stay on the right path and keep things going in the right direction.”