Dowagiac man gets prison time for theft

Published 5:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac man was sentenced to prison Friday in Cass County Circuit Court for a 2020 stolen property incident.


Robert Lee Bassingame, Jr. is already in prison for St. Joseph County convictions for drugs and weapons. Bassingame, 35, pleaded guilty to receiving, concealing or possession of stolen property over $1,000 and less than $20,000 and was sentenced to 20 months to five years in prison.

He has credit for 65 days served and must pay $1,548 in fines and costs.

The new prison term can be served concurrently with his current prison sentences for possession of meth and possession of a firearm by a felon out of St. Joseph County, Mich. His earliest release date on those sentences is June, 2025.

The Cass County incident Oct. 16, 2020 when a trailer, all terrain vehicles and other items were taken from a property in Cassopolis. The items were recovered two months later in December, 2020 in Howard Township.

Defense attorney Greg Feldman noted that Blassingame knows he has to stop the cycle of criminal activity in his family. Besides his own criminal activity, Blassingame’s late father and brother also had run ins with the criminal justice system.

“I’ve been in and out of jail and prison, I’ve been a screw up,” Blassingame said before the sentencing. “I’m tired of the drug life. These places (jail and prison) are not for me any more. I want to go home and take of my mom.”

“Drugs have destroyed your family,” Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “You need to stay away from the drugs. You’re still young enough to have a decent life.”