Jail sentence issued for witness interference

DAMION SINCLAIR

IRON MOUNTAIN — An Iron Mountain man who tried to interfere with the testimony of the victim in his assault trial earlier this year has been sentenced to a year in jail and two years of probation.

Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Mary Barglind said she believed 42-year-old Damion Antonique-Don-Tay Sinclair’s multiple phone calls from the jail to the victim clearly influenced the outcome of the trial.

“It makes sense now why she testified the way she did,” the judge said. “She definitely was minimizing the events at trial.”

The jury in the assault case found Sinclair guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery instead of the original, more serious charge of felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder or by strangulation.

Sinclair then was acquitted in an unrelated case in which he was accused of felony failure to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act.

But he decided to resolve his final two felony cases in a plea deal, by pleading to felony attempted bribing, intimidating or interfering with a witness as a habitual offender-second.

The Dickinson County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to dismiss unrelated charges of felony possession of methamphetamine and felony possession of heroin, as well as Sinclair’s original habitual offender-fourth status.

However, the deal called for Sinclair to not receive credit for four months already served or any “good time” credit, meaning this latest sentence runs consecutive to his assault sentence.

Dickinson County Prosecutor Lisa Richards also warned Sinclair not to give legal advice or draft legal documents for other inmates while incarcerated. This could be construed as unauthorized practice of law, a crime that would result in a probation violation, she said.

Sinclair represented himself at his numerous court proceedings, with various court-appointed attorneys acting only as standby counsel.

Nikki Younk can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 41, or nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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