Violent drinker sent to prisonPublished 11:47pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012
“You are a violent person when you drink, and you drink to excess,” Judge Dennis Wiley told a Niles man in Berrien County Trial Court Monday while sentencing Jason Charles Wyatt to 14 to 24 months in prison for his third domestic violence conviction since 2009.
Wyatt, 40, of Terminal Road, was also ordered to pay $1,598 in fines and court costs for the incident June 3 in Niles Charter Township.
His victim addressed the court, describing the crime as a “couple of slaps” that got “blown out of proportion.”
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Travis said Wyatt turns violent when he drinks, and he seems to drink all the time, posing danger to her and to the community.
Wiley said the defendant, in a letter, and the victim used almost identical language to minimize the offense. The judge called it amazing that Wyatt would ask to be considered for a rehabilitation program after failing in previous attempts.
“You’re going to end up killing somebody,” Wiley said. “That’s the road you’re going down.”
The judge justified departing from sentencing guidelines because they did not sufficiently reflect Wyatt’s prior convictions and still being on probation at the time he committed domestic violence.