Union man in prisonPublished 6:40pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — One wild night that involved crashing a stolen vehicle into a home and sitting in a stranger’s home bleeding and intoxicated landed a Union man in prison.
Robert Crawford, 54, was sentenced to 18 months to 7.5 years in prison Friday in Cass County Circuit Court on his fourth drunken driving conviction.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz said that although Crawford does have a mental illness, he chose to “compound (it) with drugs and alcohol.”
It was far from Crawford’s first run-in with the law. He has eight felonies and 11 misdemeanors on his record.
“He’s a danger to the public,” Fitz said.
The offense took place Jan. 7, 2011, Judge Michael Dodge said, when an intoxicated Crawford stole his girlfriend’s car and began driving.
He didn’t get very far before he crashed the vehicle into a house. Crawford kept driving and nearly landed the car in a lake where he abandoned the vehicle. He then broke into a home and sat in a chair in the basement drunk and bleeding from his head until the owners arrived and called the police.
Crawford’s girlfriend, whose car he stole, asked for the judge to have leniency on him.
“Robert has taken care of me for the past three years,” the woman said. “I am a heart patient. He’s been a big help.”
The woman’s plea didn’t help Crawford avoid prison.
“I also have to take into account other people,” Dodge said before handing down the sentence. “People that he endangered on the highway and the people in the home he broke into.”