Nikolas Abbott, 23, was sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 30, to one year in the Berrien County Jail by Berrien County Trial Court Judge Scott Schofield. Schofield also ordered Abbott to serve four years of probation.
Abbott pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to three felonies: accessory after the fact to a felony; operating while intoxicated causing serious body injury; and receiving and concealing a firearm.
Abbott is the son of Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott.
Police say Abbott supplied the gun used in the Feb. 3 homicide of Eddie “E.J.” Holland in Bangor. Police say Abbott sold the gun in Benton Harbor the day after the homicide. It was later recovered by police.
“Prior to our recovery, actually the day after the homicide, Nikolas Abbott decided to report that his gun has been stolen and knowing full well through our investigation that he was actually the one that took possession of the gun and then got rid of it and then reported it stolen,” Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. Brian DeWyse testified during a probable cause hearing on June 27.
Thurman Fletcher is serving at least nine years in prison for manslaughter and felony firearm in Holland’s death.
A witness at Fletcher’s March 16 preliminary examination, Matthew Eide, said he met Abbott for the first time at a party at a friend’s residence at Apple Tree Apartments in Bangor the night Holland was killed. Eide said he heard Holland was mad at Fletcher because Fletcher used counterfeit money to buy marijuana from him.
Eide said he first saw a handgun in the pocket of Abbott’s hoodie then saw Abbott pull out the gun and hand it to Thurman.
“He said, ‘Use it if you have to,'” Eide testified at Fletcher’s preliminary examination.
In the operating while intoxicated case, Abbott seriously injured a woman in a crash Nov. 25, 2016. Abbott told police he was looking at his cell phone just prior to the crash. He said he may have crossed over the center line on C.R. 681 in Van Buren County’s Arlington Township when he hit another car head-on, according to probable cause testimony. Abbott admitted to using Xanax, for which he did not have a prescription. The driver of the other car reported had wrist injuries, bruising and whiplash from the crash.
In exchange for Abbott’s pleas, felony charges of reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function, felony firearm, false report of a felony, and a second count of receiving and concealing a firearm were dropped.