Niles man sentenced to probation on theft charges

NILES – A Niles man arrested for harboring stolen property was in Berrien County Trial Court via Zoom on Monday for sentencing.

Joseph Daniel Knuckles, of Niles, was sentenced to two years of probation for receiving and concealing stolen property valued at less than $200. Knuckles was sentenced to 34 days in jail with credit for 34 and was ordered to pay $598 in costs and fees.

There are four levels of receiving and concealing stolen property crimes in Michigan. The most common and lightest is a misdemeanor and concerns instances under $200 that carry a prison term up to 93 days and/or a $500 fine. Level four crimes are felonies and thefts of $20,000 or more and are punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years and/or a $15,000 fine.

Knuckles also pled guilty to failing to appear in court in July 2020. He was sentenced to 33 days in jail, which is concurrent with his other sentence.

Also in court Monday was George Talbert Seratt, of Niles. He was sentenced to two years of probation for attempted assault with a dangerous weapon. Seratt was confined for 65 days and was ordered to pay $194 in fees and costs.

In Michigan, assault with a dangerous weapon is both an assault committed with an object that can inflict serious injury and the intent to injure the victim or cause the victim to fear an immediate attack or injury.

Assault with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to four years in prison, a fine up to $2,000, or both.

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