Elkhart teen given chance to keep domestic violence off record

In Cass County Court Friday, an Elkhart teen was given the chance of keeping charges off his record after he was sentenced for domestic violence and attempted resisting police after an incident at Southwestern Michigan College last October.

An 18-year-old Elkhart man pleaded guilty to domestic violence and attempted resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced to eight months’ probation under the Holmes Youthful Training Act, credit for two days served and $1,335 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred Oct. 24, 2020, when he had had an argument with his girlfriend and hit her in the face inside a SMC residence hall. Police were called, and he resisted attempts to arrest him, wrestling with officers and kicking the inside of the police car. The teen attends high school in Elkhart where he is on the football and track teams.

The teen said he has learned from his mistakes.

“I can see that I could handle myself differently in that situation,” he said. “I did make mistakes and learned from it. That wasn’t the right way to handle it.”

“I received numerous letters of support from the school staff attesting to your good character,” Judge Herman said. “On this occasion, you exhibited less than good character. Hopefully you learned from your mistakes. That’s what we all do — we learn and grow.”

“By your actions after your arrest with yelling and kicking the vehicle, that was not the best choice on your part,” he added. “That never gets you anywhere but deeper trouble. Even if you’re upset and believe you’re right, fighting with police never makes a situation better and often makes it much, much worse.”

In other sentencings:

Dana Steven Horvath, 48, of Mishawaka, pleaded guilty to drunk driving and possession of amphetamines and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation under the 7411 statute which allows charges to be kept off people’s record, credit for three days served, $2,088 in fines and costs and 100 hours of community service. The incident occurred Jan. 6 in Ontwa Township.

Luis Jacob Pantoja, 30, of Centreville, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamines and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, credit for 165 days already served and $1,238 in fines and costs. The incident occurred Oct. 6, 2019, in Jones.

Christian Nathaniel Vollmer, 27, of Osceola, pleaded guilty to violating probation from two 2019 cases and was sentenced to an extension of his probation by two years and credit for 32 days served. He must complete the Adult Treatment Court and Twin County Probation programs.

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