Drug charges land Indiana man probation

NILES — Area residents were sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court on a variety of charges.

Marcus Alan Dowd, 42, of Indiana, pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug vehicle and was sentenced to two years’ probation, credit for 13 days served and $598 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred June 4, 2020.

Defense attorney Kaitlin Locke said Dowd has been clean and sober since spending time in jail after his arrest. She said he has serious medical issues and was self-medicating by using meth.

“He was using it in order to feel better and at the end of the day it did the absolute opposite,” she said.

Judge Schrock questioned why Dowd could not check in with his probation agent since being out on bond.

“You forgot something that could send you to jail,” he said. “How can I trust you to be on probation and follow through? You’re saying you’re trying your hardest when you can’t pick up the phone once a week. It’s like the excuse we used to make in grade school that the dog ate the homework.”

“Ingesting a highly addictive substance to self-medicate, that’s a new one on me that meth makes you feel better,” he added. “I’m not buying that it made you feel better, you want to take meth … This is a reflection of immaturity, it’s time you make adult decisions, follow the rules and maybe find a better way to live.”

In other sentencings:

  • Jeremy Allen Shumaker pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to five years’ probation, credit for 450 days already served, 90 days tether, registration as a sex offender and $4,981 in fines and costs including the costs of extradition. The incident occurred Sept. 28, 2019. He can have no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
  • Christopher DiConstanzo, 41, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamines and possession of a firearm in or on a motor vehicle and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, credit for one day served, weapon forfeited, 50 hours community service and $1,028 in fines and costs. He can keep the conviction off of his record if he’s successful on probation.
  • Jeffery Lashawn Davis, 32, pleaded guilty to attempted resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced to credit for two days served and $525 in fines and costs.
  • Christopher Thomas Terry pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct under the Holmes Youthful Training Act and was sentenced to three years’ probation, credit for two days served, 60 days tether, 200 hours of community service by Dec. 31, 2022, and $678 in fines and costs. He can keep the conviction off his record if he is successful on probation.

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