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Man sentenced to downstate treatment center

ROGERS CITY — A man sentenced Monday in Presque Isle County’s 53rd Circuit Court will head to a residential treatment program downstate instead of spending time behind bars.

Michael Bohamed, who pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of analogues, will be admitted to the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program, an inpatient program designed to benefit those who need more structure than regular probation provides but for whom extended jail time is not judged necessary.

Bohamed was sentenced to 18 months’ probation and six months’ jail time, with credit for 115 days served, but a portion of his jail sentence will be suspended pending successful completion of the KPEP program.

Unlike many residential programs, the KPEP program is easy to get people into and usually has room for people sentenced by the county, according to Jude Bluemle, state probation parole agent for Presque Isle County.

With facilities in Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and Benton Harbor, the program, sometimes used as part of sentencing in Presque Isle Circuit Court, treats drug addiction and also addresses other major life issues, Bluemle explained.

Participants are offered cognitive behavioral therapy, employment skills training, GED preparation and testing,and substance abuse assessment and education, and are required to complete extensive community service before graduation.

“It’s a resource we have, and people should use it,” Bluemle said. “We hope that it helps someone make a change in their life.”

Also in the 53rd Circuit Court on Monday:

∫ Bobbi Lynn Peak pleaded guilty to accosting a minor for immoral purposes, with a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct dismissed as part of a plea arrangement. Peak was sentenced to spend three months in jail and five years’ probation, with permission to be released for a 40-hour workweek if the jail deems her eligible.

The News does not name victims of sexual assault.

∫ Kayle Osantowski pleaded no contest to resisting a police officer.

∫ Karl Griffin pleaded guilty to possession of less than 25 grams of cocaine, his charges reduced from delivery or manufacture of the drug as part of the plea arrangement.

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Meanwhile, in Alpena County’s 26th Circuit Court, an Alpena County man accused of interfering with the arrest of his son, who was hidden in the man’s attic when police sought to arrest him on drug charges, wants a trial by jury, months after he waived his right to a jury trial.

Bernard Dziuba, charged with assaulting an officer and harboring misdemeanants after his June arrest, was on track for a bench trial, at which his guilt or innocence would be decided by a judge instead of a jury.

Earlier this month, Dziuba filed a motion to request the right to withdraw his waiver.

According to the motion, though he agreed to the waiver, Dziuba “was not fully understanding and intelligently aware of his right to a jury trial, due partially to the removal of the presiding judge from the bench.”

The original waiver was filed before Judge Michael Mack, then presiding over the 26th Circuit Court.

Mack, whose retirement became official Jan. 3, was removed from the docket in November by Judge Benjamin Bolser, who was appointed as chief judge of the circuit amid a police investigation of Mack for unspecified reasons.

A defendant has no right to withdraw a waiver of a jury trial without a legally substantial reason, Bolser said in a denial of the request, issued last week.

In Dziuba’s case, he said, “the defendant has provided no reason for wanting to withdraw his waiver apart from having changed his mind apparently due to judicial reassignment.”

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693, jriddle@thealpenanews.com or on Twitter @jriddleX.

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