Local residents sentenced to prison, probation

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

NILES – Area residents were sentenced to prison and probation in Berrien County Trial Court Monday, including a Buchanan man who shot into a building in Niles in January. 

Michael Allen House, 29, of Andrews Road in Buchanan, pleaded guilty to discharge of a weapon into a building and was sentenced to 24 months to 10 years in prison. He has credit for 57 days already served and must pay $198 in fines and costs. He must also forfeit his weapon. 

The incident occurred Jan. 29 in Niles. Charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and using a weapon in the commission of a felony were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. 

“He’s had ample time to think about the things he’s doing,” defense attorney Carri Briseno said. “He had gotten himself involved with using meth which is never anything good. He’s gotten sober in jail and wants to do good things.” 

House said he’s spent the last five months reflecting on the choices he’s made. “I apologize for my actions, this is not the life I want to live,” he said. “I’m a good person who made bad choices.” 

Olanna Marie Johnson, 26, of Baldwin Drive in Niles, pleaded guilty to aggravated stalking and resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced to 14 months to five years in prison on the stalking charge and credit for 121 days served on the resisting and obstructing charge. She must pay $198 in fines and costs. 

The incident occurred Feb. 24 at a residence in Niles. She had home invasion, possession of narcotics and assault with intent to rob while unarmed charges dismissed. 

Johnson apologized and said she took full responsibility for her actions. 

While she and her attorney asked for probation in the Swift & Sure Program, Berrien County Trial Judge Sterling Schrock said he didn’t want to set her up for a bigger failure and even more time in prison if she failed on Swift & Sure. 

“I’m concerned if I put you in Swift & Sure it will be more catastrophic,” he said. 

Steven David LaFaire, 21, of West Edge in Niles, pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic violence and was placed on two years probation in mental health court, 90 days in jail, 60 days tether and $650 in fines and costs. 

The incidents occurred Jan. 18 and Jan. 27 in Niles Township against two different victims. 

Jzy-Caeydonn Deniel Tanner, 20, of Lowe Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to two years probation, credit for two days served, $678 in fines and costs, 100 hours of community service and forfeiture of his weapon. 

The incident occurred Feb. 5 when police stopped him in Niles Township. 

Judge Schrock informed Tanner that he could go to prison if he’s arrested again on a felony charge. He said that if Tanner feels so unsafe that he must carry a weapon, he should change his circumstances.