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07-19-2018 Police Reports

Police Reports By Annette Christie Perez gets 40-60 years for two murders Alex Perez, the killer of his children’s mother and their grandfather, learned his fate in a Berrien County Courtroom on July 16, 2018 after being sentenced for their deaths. Berrien County Trial Court Judge Scott Schofield sentenced Perez to 40-60 years in prison as agreed to a plea deal. Perez plead no contest but mentally ill to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Renee Mitchell and her father John Mitchell. Renee Mitchell was the mother of two children with Perez. The murder occurred on January 14, 2016 in the Hagar Township home that the younger Mitchell shared with her father and her children. The two children were taken by Perez, as was Renee Mitchell’s car. A nationwide Amber Alert went out to find the two girls. The next morning the car, the two girls, and Perez were located in Colorado together. He was ultimately extradited back to Michigan and faced two first degree (premeditated) murder charges. The court process has been delayed several times beginning with Perez fighting his extradition to Michigan. He was ruled incompetent, finally got a bed at a state forensic center for evaluation and treatment for months only to delay it again when the question of criminal responsibility was raised. It was reported that the lawyers on both sides came together and agreed on the plea deal. In an effort to make sure that some kind of justice was served, Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic said that the plea negotiated between his office and the defense team was the safest bet. Sepic told the Herald-Palladium that Perez was planning to use an insanity defense and if that worked, he would be found not guilty. Perez was represented by a duo from the Berrien County Public Defender Office. With the no contest but mentally ill plea and the 40-60 year sentencing agreement, Perez will serve a minimum of 40 years in prison. He will receive monitoring and treatment as deemed necessary in the prison system. Michigan State Police host recruiting seminar The Michigan State Police (MSP) will host a recruiting seminar on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. until noon at Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post, 43255 60th Ave., Paw Paw, MI 49079. Recognizing the importance of a diverse workforce, the MSP is committed to reflecting the communities it serves. This free seminar will explain the variety of career opportunities and answer questions on recruit training, the lifestyle of a trooper and positions available. The minimum requirements for consideration of employment are as follows: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by recruit school graduation, of good moral character with no felony convictions; a U.S. citizen and a Michigan resident at the time of appointment to the academy; possess a high school diploma or GED; have a good driving record and stable credit history is required. The starting salary at the beginning of recruit school is $45,000 annually with a $7,800 raise upon completion of one year. To attend the seminar, email Tpr. Kellie Shaffer at or call/text 269-767-1547. The attire for this event is business casual. Coloma Township Police activity On July 16, 2018 at approximately 6:42 p.m. a Coloma Township Police Officer was on patrol and observed a subject he knew not to have a valid operator’s license. This individual was seen driving near the intersection of Little Paw Paw Lake Road and Coloma North Road. The police officer executed a traffic stop. After stopping the vehicle the driver, a 42-year-old Coloma man, was issued a misdemeanor appearance citation for driving with a suspended license, 2nd offense. On July 15, 2018, a Coloma Township officer was flagged down by a 39-year-old Coloma woman on Red Arrow Highway near Boyer Road while on patrol. The woman advised that she had walked from Benton Harbor and requested a ride from the officer. While speaking with the woman the officer learned she had a warrant for her arrest. The female was then lodged at the Berrien County Jail.

COLOMA continued from Page 1 held in the Intermediate School Library. On August 2nd and 3rd (if necessary), the first round of interviews will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Intermediate School Library. Those selected for second interviews will be interviewed on August 7, 2018 along with a candidate open house. The details for this have not been fine tuned yet but will be released as soon as that is complete. Michigan Leadership Institute is also contracting with the district for the services of their South Central Regional President David Killips for the position of Interim Superintendent. Killips has a career in education that spans 39 years. He served as a superintendent for Chelsea School District for 10 years and for the Reed City School District for five years. He has served as an Interim Superintendent previously and as an Educational Consultant and Superintendent Coach. He has a B.S. degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in education from Michigan State University. The posting for the superintendent position will be open until the application deadline of July 20, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. The job posting states that the district is looking for a dynamic communicator with excellent public speaking skills; a visionary who can engage all stakeholders in a shared plan to improve academic achievement; a strong and decisive decision maker who will be consistent and follow through; a leader with significant successful experience in the classroom and administration; and a high profile person who is visible and actively engaged in both the community and the school district. More details on the posting can be found at


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