Niles man sentenced to probation for arson

Published 6:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — A Niles man who set items on fire at his girlfriend’s home was placed on probation Friday.

Lucas Prentice, 28, of Leet Road in Niles, pleaded guilty to arson over $200 but less than $1,000 and was sentenced to 12 months probation and given credit for 12 days served. He must pay $1,715 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred May 29 at a residence on Leet Road in Howard Township. Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Prentice should be grateful that he received a favorable plea agreement and that no one was hurt in the incident.

“He needs to thank his lucky stars that nothing worse happened,” he said. “… He really did dodge some felony bullets here.”

“I do apologize for everything,” Prentice said. “I’ve learned that alcohol is not my friend. I haven’t had a drop since that evening.”

“Yelling, pounding and setting items on fire are not the ways to a woman’s heart,” Judge Herman said. “You did have a prior domestic violence charge in Berrien County that was probably alcohol related too … In this case you’re lucky. If the house had caught on fire and she had died, you would be going to prison for a long time.”