Jackson resident pleads guilty to obstructing police following Berrien County incident

Published 1:12 pm Monday, June 7, 2021

In Berrien County Trial Court Monday, a Jackson, Michigan resident was sentenced to probation after being found drunk in his car in the Berrien Springs area.

Benjamin Manuel Dubois pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced to two years’ probation, credit for 11 days in jail already served, 120 days alcohol monitoring tether and $598 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred March 27 in the Berrien Springs area when police found him in his car and he resisted them when they tried to arrest him.

Judge Schrock said he had trouble believing Dubois’ explanation.

“You drove from Jackson in the middle of the night, drank alcohol and sat in your car until the police showed up,” he said. “You were intoxicated and fought with police. Your decision making cries out for monitoring to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The judge noted that a drunk driving charge was not pursued after there was some question about whether he had been driving drunk or drank alcohol after stopping his car.

In another sentencing, a local resident will get the chance to keep a felony off his record.

An area resident pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation under the Holmes Youthful Training Act, credit for two days served and $598 in fines and costs. His weapon was forfeited.

The incident occurred April 4 in Niles. The man told the judge that he was carrying a weapon because he put himself around the wrong people and was trying to protect himself.

“One of the top five risk factors for committing a crime is who you choose to hang out with,” Judge Schrock said. “But the decision making with respect to being around firearms is 100 percent on you.”

The judge noted that the defendant also had a juvenile record involving weapons, but said he would give him the chance to move on with his life and move ahead without the felony conviction hanging over him.

Judge Schrock warned the defendant about the danger of carrying a weapon.

“We’ve had two homicides in the last week in Berrien County where people got killed with guns,” he said.  “Based on my life experience, if you’re running around with a gun the biggest risk you’re taking is that someone is going to take it away from you. You should never carry a weapon with the idea that you’re going to scare someone off. There are people out there who would take it away from you and kill you.”

“I’m not telling you it will be easy to change your thinking and lifestyle,” he added. “It’s going to be really hard work to change those things but it would help you.”