Area resident gets probation, jail time for destruction of police property

NILES — An area resident is heading to jail after being sentenced in Berrien County Court Monday.

Shabrea Drew McClinton, 37, pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of police property and was sentenced to three years’ probation in either the mental health court or Swift & Sure, 180 days in jail with credit for 77 days served, 90 days tether and $376.80 in fines, costs and restitution.

He also pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police in another incident and was sentenced to 180 days in jail with credit for 71 days already served and $198 in fines and costs. The jail terms are concurrent.

The two incidents occurred Oct. 11 and Oct. 17 last year. His past record includes a prison sentence for intimidating witnesses and assaulting a prison employee.

Defense attorney Tat Parish said that McClinton is “the nicest guy in the world” when he is not frustrated and feels under pressure and threatened.

“Because of his mental problems, he acts goofy,” Parish said. “He kicked at police property and caused damage. He’s pushed things off of store shelves.”

Berrien County Trial Judge Sterling Schrock agreed in part but remained somewhat skeptical.

“I know he has some issues but objectively speaking there are times that even though there are legitimate mental health concerns that he always tries to use mental health as a fall back position,” he said. “It may be legitimate but it may be manipulation.”

“He needs to learn to deal with law enforcement if he’s out in society,” the judge added. “At some point in time, people will throw up their hands and the only thing we can do is protect society from him. It’s time for him to stop, walk away, take his medication and do the things he needs to do to stay in a stable environment.”

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