Area residents receive probation sentences

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022

NILES — Three area residents are getting the chance to turn their lives around on probation after being sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.

Joseph Paolucci-Hitchcock, 24, of Buchanan, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to two year probation in the Swift & Sure Program, 120 days in jail with credit for 37 days served, 90 days tether and $598 in fines and costs. His guidelines had called for a possible prison term. 

After 90 days in jail, he can serve the remainder of his jail term in the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program. He was also given credit for 16 days served for contempt of court for violating his bond conditions by being out after curfew.  

The incident occurred Sept. 28 in Buchanan Township. 

Defense attorney Shayne Williams noted that Paolucci-Hitchcock has the support of his family and wants to deal with his substance abuse problem. Paolucci-Hitchcock apologized to the two victims of his attack and also asked for help with his drug addition. “I appreciate the opportunity to get some more help,” he said. 

Amber Sharrai, 40, of Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to bringing contraband into the jail and was sentenced to two years probation, 120 days in jail with credit for 72 days served, completion of the Twin County Probation Program and $658 in fines and costs. She was arrested on drug and weapon charges Oct. 2 in Niles Township and then drugs were found on her at the Berrien County Jail in St. Joseph. She also faces charges in Cass County. 

“What were you thinking when you brought this into the jail hidden in your anatomy?” the judge asked. “For you to say you forgot about it is beyond my ability to comprehend … This is the kid of charge that could result in a lengthy sentence. You exposed everyone in the jail to the drugs that could have been used or distributed. You put so many people at risk.” 

Roxxie Williamson, 34, of Niles, pleaded guilty to possession of fentanyl and was sentenced to two years probation, credit for 19 days served and $667.15 in fines, costs and restitution. She was also given credit for 17 days served for contempt of court for failing to appear for her sentencing in May. The incident occurred Oct. 10, 2021 in Weesaw Township.  

Judge Schrock placed her on probation to make sure she is supervised and gets the counseling and treatment she needs. 

        Others sentenced Monday were: 

  • Dustin Lloyd Trieber, 19, of Niles, pleaded guilty to attempted killing/torturing animals and was sentenced to credit for 130 days already served and $198 in fines and costs. The incident occurred July 5 in Niles. 
  • Kelly Jo Whitman, 32, of Niles, pleaded guilty to use of meth second offense and was sentenced to credit for 40 days served. She was also given credit for 33 days served for contempt of court for failing to appear for her sentencing last year. The incident occurred Dec. 12, 2020 in Niles.