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Posted on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 9:30 a.m.

Man accused of robbing drug dealer in Saline gets 3-15 years

By John Counts

The 18-year-old man accused of robbing a drug dealer at a Saline apartment complex nearly two years ago was sentenced in the Washtenaw County Trial Court Thursday to spend up to 15 years in prison.

James Brewer was sentenced by Judge David Swartz to 2 to 4 years on a count of assault with a dangerous weapon and 3 to 15 years on an unarmed robbery charge. The terms will run concurrently.

Brewer briefly apologized to the court when given the opportunity to speak.

On May 9, Brewer pleaded no contest to the charges, according to court records. An additional assault with a dangerous weapon charge and two counts of armed robbery were dismissed.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred almost two years ago at the Six Trails Apartment Complex in Saline. As previously reported, the delay was caused by Brewer missing his court date and a bench warrant being issued.

Police said Brewer worked with Emily Beach to rob a drug dealer in July 2011. Beach called the dealer to set up a drug deal and when the man went outside to wait for her, four men approached him, one of whom punched him in the head, according to police. One man pointed a gun at the dealer, his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother while another man searched through the dealer’s pockets. Witnesses testified Brewer was not the man with the gun at a preliminary exam in November 2011.

At the time of the exam, Brewer was free on a 10 percent of a $75,000 bond. He was still free on bond when he didn’t show up for a court hearing April 5, 2012. Brewer didn’t show up again in court until Feb. 14, when he was arrested and arraigned on a bench warrant, according to court records.

He subsequently was held at the Washtenaw County Jail on a $150,000 cash or surety bond.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Linda Peck

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Would it be appropriate to ask if the drug dealer was also arrested and charged?


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

It would be appropriate but don't expect an answer....


Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

Did I read this right? The drug dealer was accompanied by his girlfriend and her mother? I guess they thought he was quite a catch til then.

Basic Bob

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Is the dealer still in business?


Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

He will be out in about 5 months. But I'm sure he will be totally rehabilitated


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

in that 3 year minimum what is the ratio for good behavior time? 1 day early release for every 3 days served?


Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

on a 3-15 year sentence you will serve a minimum of 3 years and then be on parole for at least 5 years. Some of the irresponsible comments on this thread are absolutely appalling and ignorant.


Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Interesting, criminals who rob innocent victims get no jail time in this county but if you rob a drug dealer you go to prison, Stay classy Washtenaw County Judges. Could this paper please do a story about the liberal judges in this county, the lack of coherent sentencing guidelines and the low bonds given out. It is sick that our law enforcement officers continue risking their lives so that these judges can make a bunch of money sitting on their butts kicking criminals right back to the street.


Wed, Jun 26, 2013 : 2:09 a.m.

I'm sure you have a wealth of anecdotal evidence to back up your claims. A criminal was given a relatively stiff sentence is what I read.

John of Saline

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

No need to "slant" the story that way. Just list all the convictions and sentences in one place for cross-referencing. The numbers and facts would tell the story.


Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel going through Saline.