CASSOPOLIS — A Marcellus man and Dowagiac teenager were sentenced today in Cass County Circuit Court to probation, jail time and community service for their destruction of tombstones and monuments at Dowagiac’s Riverside Cemetery.
But that wasn’t the extent of their punishment as Enos Butrick, 19, and Clayton Warren, 23, also were ordered to share in $16,984 restitution for the 76 headstones and monuments they damaged. Also, Judge Michael Dodge said Butrick, in yet another case, broke windows at the nearby Elks Lodge, prompting an additional restitution order he’ll share with a different co-defendant amounting to $2,849.
Except for the amounts of restitution, the sentences for Butrick and Warren mirrored one another as both received two years of probation, 270 days in jail and 200 hours of community service at the cemetery. Butrick will receive credit for 81 days already served behind bars and Warren credit for 69 days.
It didn’t help either of their cases that the two initially lied to police about their involvement in the Dec. 2 crime, going so far as to concoct a cover story that they were victims of an armed robbery. That aspect of the crime resulted in an additional charge against Warren, who reported the robbery, of making a false police report.
Both Dodge and Cass Assistant Prosecutor Kirk Metzger emphasized that the two had no reason to vandalize the cemetery. It also was pointed out by Dodge that, given the amount of damage, the two took some time and went to a great deal of effort tipping over the tombstones and monuments.
“It’s difficult for most people to understand why you would do something like this. It certainly is senseless,’’ the judge told Butrick.
Defense attorneys representing the pair offered no excuses, but Lawrence Quigley did note that Warren is mentally challenged and emotionally impaired. Warren apologized for the vandalism and requested counseling.
As for Butrick, his attorney, Carol Bealor, said he was abused and neglected growing up and that he at one point lived in an abandoned restaurant in Jones that had no running water or heat. Like Warren, Butrick apologized for the crime.
Also today, Dodge handed down a 2-year to 7½-year prison sentence to Dean Pompey, 53, for knowingly accepting from a co-defendant more than a dozen firearms that the co-defendant had stolen during a break-in on West High Street in Dowagiac.
Pompey, who entered the courtroom using a walker, already had been to prison multiple times, Metzger said, adding that his record includes armed robberies dating back to 1976.
Pompey apologized to the owner of the property where the weapons were stolen but argued he had nothing to do with the break-in. He also argued that his character shouldn’t be defined by his record.
“I don’t know anyone who makes correct decisions all the time,’’ he said.