NILES — The man who created what Berrien County Trial Judge Charles LaSata called a “ridiculously dangerous situation” in September on U.S. 12 is going to prison.
Chamaine C. Davis, 25, of Illinois was the driver in the September high speed chase across southern Berrien County from Buchanan to New Buffalo.
Davis pleaded guilty to fleeing and eluding police and resisting and obstructing police. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 23 months to five years and 12 months to two years in prison. He has credit for no time served, as he is on parole in Illinois from a burglary sentence. He must pay $456 in fines and costs.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 24 when Buchanan police tried to stop Davis’ Jeep Cherokee in downtown Buchanan. He fled south on Bakertown Road and then led police across the county on U.S. 12 before being stopped near New Buffalo.
The news release at the time stated that New Buffalo police set up stop sticks on U.S. 12 near Lakeside Road. The vehicle, which was stolen from Highland Park, Ill., went over the stop sticks which caused the tires to deflate. Davis eventually stopped when the vehicle hit a sign post on U.S. 12 near I-94, at which time he and two others fled.
One of the passengers, Calvin Cornell Edwards, 20, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police and was sentenced earlier this month to 160 days in jail with credit for 42 days already served. The other person was never caught.
Edwards and Davis were eventually arrested hiding in thick vegetation, with help from a LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit. Police reported that the vehicle was traveling at up to 127 miles per hour during the chase. Edwards said the three were headed to Benton Harbor where they planned to “lay low” after facing felony charges in Illinois.
“His record speaks for itself,” Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Vigansky said. “He came to Berrien County from Illinois, fled and had little regard for others. He continues to violate the law. I think prison is appropriate.”
Davis denied coming to Michigan to break the law despite having burglar’s tools in his vehicle. “I don’t believe you,” LaSata said. “Tell others in Illinois to stay in Illinois – don’t come to Michigan.”
“I sentenced your co-defendant to jail. I felt he was less responsible than you,” LaSata noted. “What you did here was ridiculous. You had burglar tools in your vehicle. Police engaged you and you fled at speeds up to 127 miles per hour, endangering the police and the public. You came to Michigan to commit crimes.”