Dowagiac teen sentenced for resisting police

Published 11:37 am Sunday, April 28, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac youth will have the chance to keep a felony resisting and obstructing police charge off his record in a delayed sentencing.

Kayden Isaiah Dungey, 16, of Dowagiac, pleaded guilty Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced under a delayed sentencing agreement to 11 months of monitoring and $1.938 in fines and costs. A charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder was dismissed.

The incident occurred Oct. 1, 2023 on West Railroad Street in Dowagiac. Dungey and another individual were involved in an attempted home invasion where they were chased off by a neighbor. He denied his involvement in the incident when questioned by police.

Cass Assistant Prosecutor Jason Ronning noted that Dungey had an extensive juvenile record with 15 entries that had become increasingly violent and dangerous. “This is a relatively gentle resolution to the case,” he said. “He’s been treated like a child for years, now he is in adult court. If he doesn’t change, he will end up in prison.”

Defense attorney Robert Kardatzke said that Dungey has been taking online classes and is trying to get a job. “He acknowledges that he should have been more compliant with police when they showed up to investigate,” Kardatzke said. “He does have a considerable juvenile record and pending charges but that doesn’t mean he isn’t redeemable.”

“You’re 16 years old and waived into adult court based on your record,” Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “I don’t know where you want to be in life, but you’re at a crossroads. The prosecutor gave you heck of an opportunity with a delayed sentence where the felony can be reduced to misdemeanor.”

“I don’t know if you realize the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor, but it makes a whale of a difference,” the judge said. “If you don’t take advantage of this, you’re headed down a path of a long time in jail and prison. If you don’t take it seriously, I won’t hesitate to see that you go to jail. My hope is that I won’t have to do that.”

“In juvenile court, I don’t think young people appreciate or understand the consequences,” he said. “It’s a whole lot different in adult court. You have an opportunity now, but if you don’t take it, it will be a long, long life for you. With this agreement, malicious destruction of property, auto theft and home invasion juvenile charges will be dismissed.”