Despite letters written by his family and a statement read by the accused, Judge Susan K. Sniegowski sentenced a 32-year-old Baldwin man to time with the Michigan Department of Corrections Tuesday in 51st Circuit Court.
Mark Edward Dekle, 32, was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in prison along with a stern warning from the judge that he “take serious action and get some serious help for his problems.”
Dekle pleaded guilty in April 2017 to a count of interfering with an electronic monitoring device, a count of domestic violence — second offense, two counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer and a count of operating under the influence of liquor. The original incident occurred on Jan. 15, 2017.
Judge Sniegowski also told Dekle that she had received letters from his children, something she was not pleased with.
“I also don’t appreciate the fact that Ms. Keith is present here in the courtroom today with your young children,” she continued. “Your children are going through hell right now without you, and they don’t need to be subjected to being in the courtroom today.”
The judge told Dekle in handing down her sentence that she left him no choice but to sentence him to prison.
“I let you out on bond and I rarely ever do that,” Judge Sniegowski said. “Rarely, but I gave you a chance and you’re back before me in my courtroom. I have no choice.”
Dekle held back tears as he read a prepared statement to the court,.
“I realize I could have done more to curtail my actions, but I didn’t. It’s been a long rough road of suffering from depression and alcohol abuse,” Dekle said. “And my dad, he has worked hard all his life with his own business to some day turn it over to me. And since all this has happened to me, his health has declined. He’s had a stroke and is ready to turn the business over to me now, but he can’t if I’m in prison.
“I will continue to seek help for my problems because I want to be with my family. I’m asking the court to please see if there isn’t something else that can done rather than sending me to prison.”
Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola said he felt Dekle had more than earned a sentence of time in prison because he was continuously violating the terms of his probation.
Spaniola said since Dekle had been placed on probation, he had been charged with attempted home invasion, domestic violence, possession of a stolen gun, minor traffic violations and continued alcohol and drug use.
Defense attorney Doug Stevenson argued with the court that he didn’t feel that the gun charge had been proven. He reminded the court that Dekle also faced charges in Lake County for resisting and opposing a police officer.
“I have no idea how that is going to turn out (referring to Lake County),” Stevenson said. “It’s under review right now by the prosecutor. I would ask the court to let my client face whatever sentence he will receive in Lake County as well the charges he faces here in district court.”