Man sentenced to prison for assaulting conservation officer

LAKE COUNTY — A Grand Rapids man was sentenced to prison for assaulting a conservation officer earlier this year.

Devinci Dumas, 21, was initially charged with single counts of assault with great bodily harm less than murder; malicious destruction of fire and property; and obstructing of an officer causing injury. He was bound over to circuit court after the preliminary exam.

A jury found Dumas guilty of the assault and resisting and obstructing charges. The count of malicious destruction of property was dropped, because intent to destroy property was not proved.

Dumas was sentenced Aug. 16 to five years — maximum 15 years — in the state’s prison system for assaulting the conservation officer. He received four years, a maximum set at six years, for the obstruction charge. Dumas was also sentenced as a second-time habitual offender.

The incident dates back to March 20, 2021, when Conservation Officer Josiah Killingbeck investigated a suspicious vehicle crash in the northeast part of Lake County, on Three Mile and Hawkins roads.

Dumas and a female passenger were in the vehicle, and Killingbeck found numerous shot glasses in the passenger seat and a rum shot in the back seat, according to Lake County Prosecutor Craig Cooper.

The woman was in the driver seat, but it was determined Dumas was the driver. According to testimony in court, Dumas was becoming agitated and was not forthcoming about his identity. Killingbeck placed him under arrest for open alcohol containers, lying to an officer and probable cause of reckless driving.

According to Cooper, the suspect was fastened with a locking mechanism into the DNR truck in the front passenger seat and was handcuffed behind his back. As the vehicle approached about a mile south, Dumas said his seatbelt was coming undone. Killingbeck fixed the belt and continued to transport the suspect, and shortly after he heard a click, he saw Dumas reach down and unlock the belt. Dumas positioned his body sideways and began kicking Killingbeck in the head. Killingbeck slammed on the breaks and brought the vehicle to a halt.

Killingbeck's gun holster was trapped in the seat belt release, not allowing him much room to budge, and the truck doors were locked because the gear was jammed. Dumas continued to strike numerous blows to Killingbeck's head. Killingbeck was able to grab a hold of Dumas' legs to help soften the blows.

A turn of events took place when Richard Olds and Corey Miller, who were coming from Reed City to work on a construction project for a friend, saw a truck swerve, almost hitting them, and come to a halt., Cooper said. Olds saw shaking in the truck, and thought someone was having a seizure. As the men got out to investigate, they realized a DNR officer was being attacked. They heard Killingbeck cry for help.

As Olds and Miller approached, Killingbeck was able to release his hand long enough to put the gear in park so the truck could unlock, and while doing so, suffered another blow to the head. Dumas shimmied closer to Killingbeck, and Olds was not certain, but saw Dumas reach towards Killingbeck's belt toward his gun. Killingbeck also said during the incident the suspect was trying to reach for a shotgun toward the back of the seat, but it was secured in a lock box, accoridng to Cooper.

Olds and Miller were able to get Dumas out of the vehicle and restrain him on the ground as officers arrived and subdued the suspect. Life EMS was able to transport Killingbeck to the hospital.

Cooper credits Olds and Miller for their quick and brave actions.

"If these good samaritans didn't show up, Officer Killingbeck's life could have been lost, or the situation could have been a lot worse," Cooper said. "They very easily could have saved his life, because we don't know if Killingbeck would have been able to subdue this guy himself.

"I am thankful we were able to obtain justice for what happened to Officer Killingbeck, because he could have possibly lost his life by what Dumas did to him. The right result was achieved by holding Mr. Dumas accountable for his actions. There's no justification for what Mr. Dumas did. It doesn't make any sense why he did this."