In a resentencing hearing held in St. Joseph County Circuit Court Thursday, Judge Paul Stutesman reduced the minimum sentence of 41-year-old Douglas S. Shuman, who was originally sentenced to two concurrent terms of life in prison and two additional years for a felony firearm conviction, after he shot and killed his parents James and Arunee Shuman in Three Rivers in 1997.

In a press release Tuesday, the St. Joseph County staff announced the Historic Courthouse building will be closed to the public beginning November 18 and continuing through December 8, 2020. The closure comes following a COVID-19 related order issued Sunday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS order is in response to a statewide spike in COVID-19 cases that began several weeks ago.

Randall Miller pled guilty in St. Joseph County 45th Circuit Court Tuesday for the murder of Lori Norman on March 25, 2019. Norman was found unresponsive in her home, and police who responded at the time were unable to revive her. An autopsy report issue afterward suggested she may have died from strangulation. In addition, she had a variety of cuts and bruises she may have sustained at the same time. Appearing on Tuesday before Judge Paul Stutesman, Miller accepted a deal from St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough in exchange for his guilty plea on a charge of second-degree murder.

Effective a 3:15 p.m. Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new pandemic health order in response to sharply-rising COVID-19 case numbers. The order’s language limits the number of attendees that may gather at indoor and outdoor gatherings in a variety of settings, particularly those where health officials have observed the most rapid spread of the virus. In related news, In a press release Thursday, Office of the St. Joseph County Administrator announced that the county’s Courts Building is closed to the public.

The 45th Circuit Court of St. Joseph County has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Justice. St. Joseph County Circuit Court Adult Drug Treatment Court Program Director Dr. Barbara Howes confirmed the award at a meeting Wednesday. In a Facebook post, Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman said, “I am extremely proud to announce that the 45th Circuit Court has been awarded a new grant from the Federal Government in the amount of $600,000 over the next three years to address the substance abuse needs in our County.”

Despite reduced utilization of services and fewer funding dollars from some sources, St. Joseph County’s offender rehabilitation programs are adapting and continuing to serve. Community Corrections Director Rose Ludwick, District Court Judge Jeffrey C. Middleton, and others discussed current challenges and opportunities and approved changes at a Community Corrections Advisory Board (CCAB) meeting Wednesday.