Galien man gets jail time on multiple charges

Published 11:12 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

NILES — A Galien man was sentenced to probation and jail Monday in Berrien County Trial Court after pleading guilty to multiple charges.


Thomas Joseph Doyle, 45, of Galien, pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to 18 months probation, 50 days in jail with credit for two days served and $658 in fines and costs. Two weapons were also forfeited.

He was also sentenced to concurrent 25 and 15 day jail terms for two contempt of court charges.

The incident occurred March 27, 2023 in Galien. The contempt of court charges occurred when he failed to appear for a court date and was involved in assaultive behavior when he punctured a tire on an ex-girlfriend’s car and sent her a threatening text.

He also pleaded guilty to use of meth and malicious destruction of property under $200 and was given credit for time served and ordered to pay $500 in fines and costs. Those incidents occurred March 27 and May 18, 2023 in Galien.

He was also given credit for time served in five other contempt of court cases on driving related offenses.

Defense attorney Paul Jancha said Doyle had been injured in a work accident and undergone surgeries after which he used meth and alcohol to ease the pain he suffered from. “I understand I broke the law, I was in and out of the hospital,” Doyle said.

“You turned to using street drugs instead of pain medications,” Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith said. “While pain medications can be addictive, I don’t think street drugs are any better.”

Judge Smith noted that Doyle had one previous felony and a number of misdemeanors going back to 1997 and that the current charges involved a lot of criminal behavior beyond minor traffic infractions. “Probation is appropriate to deal with your issues but you only get so many chances,” she said.