Niles teen gets prison time for robbery

Published 1:37 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

NILES — A Niles teen with no criminal record was sentenced to prison after robbing two people of $17 in Plym Park in broad daylight in late May.

        Clenzie Levell Kyles IV, 19, of Niles, pleaded guilty to unarmed robbery and was sentenced to 19 months to 15 years in prison. He has credit for 160 days already served and must pay $275 in fines and costs.

        He also pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and was given credit for 160 days already served, ordered to pay $68 and forfeit his weapon.

        The incident occurred May 30 at Plym Park in Niles.

        Berrien County Assistant Prosecutor Kate Arnold called the incident “disturbing” and said it left the two people shaken up who were robbed at gunpoint. “It’s hard to understand what was going on in his head,” she said. “Prison is appropriate given the seriousness of the crime.”

        Defense attorney Carri Briseno said that Kyles had been referred to mental health court and was recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. “It was kind of a surprising and shocking event, he has no prior record, it’s like he went from zero to 150,” she said. “He understands the seriousness of his actions, he made a really ignorant decision.”

        She said she wasn’t trying to minimize the seriousness of his actions but believed he would be a good candidate for probation. For his part, Kyles apologized for his actions and said the victims didn’t deserve what he did. He said the time he’s spent in jail has helped him change his life for the better.

        Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith asked Kyles how he would feel if he had been robbed at gunpoint. “They were scared,” she said. “I don’t know what was going on in your head. You had no criminal record before and you started off with a doozy. You have to figure out why you made the choice you made.”

        “I am going to send you to prison,” she told Kyles. “This was a very serious crime and the seriousness of the offense outweighs the fact it was your first offense. Hopefully you want to do better and get your education. You will be released after you’ve served your time and have your life to live after a very serious mistake.”