Niles man gets prison time for drug, domestic violence charges

Published 3:56 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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NILES — A Niles man was sentenced to prison Monday in Berrien County Trial Court here on drug and domestic violence charges.


Caleb Evan-Earl Stacks, 31, of Niles, pleaded guilty to third offense domestic violence and possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 21 months to five and 10 years in prison respectively. He has credit for 87 days in jail and must pay $396 in fines and costs.

He was also sentenced to credit for time served on two contempt charges.

The incidents occurred March 5, 2023 in Niles for the meth charge and Dec. 17, 2023 in Niles Township for the domestic violence charge.

Defense attorney Carri Briseno pointed out that the victim in the domestic violence case is in jail herself for meth and resisting police charges. “I would take the victim’s statements with a grain of salt,” she said. “He said they had an argument and he held her down on the bed.”

“He does have a history of domestic violence and knows he has to address his anger issues,” she added. “He knows the issue he has to take care of. He has run from everything in the past and he wants to take responsibility now.”

Stacks said he knows he messed up and took full responsibility for his actions. “I want as much help as I can get and sending me to prison won’t get me that,” he said. “I use drugs but I don’t shoot up. That’s why I got mad at her that day.”

Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith told Stacks that he can’t control another person even if that person is using drugs. “if this was your only domestic violence situation, I might be more sympathetic,” she said. “But you have six or seven prior domestic violence convictions. You haven’t learned that you can’t do that yet.”

Judge Smith said that she sentences people to prison sometimes because it’s not safe for them to be out in society. She noted that Stacks had an opportunity on Swift & Sure probation in the past but violated it.

“You went to prison for your last domestic violence,” she said. “You just don’t get it. The only way to keep you from engaging in this behavior is to lock you up. I don’t believe your version of what happened. The victim had red marks on her neck and that is consistent with you choking her … You say all the right things but your conduct shows something else.”