CHARLESTON -- A man's criminal record meant having a gun required him to return to prison.

Cody J. Parsons, 27, for whom court records list a rural Sullivan address, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon alleging he had a gun in Coles County on April 8.

Parsons' prior convictions meant he couldn't legally possess a firearm and he was sentenced to five years in prison. That will run at the same time as a Moultrie County prison term he received for a methamphetamine offense conviction.

With the agreement reached in Parsons' Coles County case, a charge of aggravated unlawful use of weapons was dismissed.

In addition to alleging his criminal record, that charge also accused him of having the gun without an owner's identification card and would have required a six- to 30-year prison sentence.

The charge to which Parsons pleaded guilty also required prison time with a possible sentencing range of three to 14 years.

A charge of driving while license revoked was dismissed and the prosecution agreed to file no additional charges in connection with the incident. A small amount of methamphetamine was also found in Parson's vehicle, according to the case's prosecutor.

Coles County Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien sentenced Parsons was accepting the terms of a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales and Public Defender Anthony Ortega recommended.

Parsons was paroled from prison for his Moultrie County conviction in December of last year but violations led to his returning to prison in that case.

In other cases in court recently, O'Brien also accepted guilty pleas from:

  • John L. Schaefer, 31, whose address on record is 708 15th St., Mattoon, to a forgery charge alleging he wrote a check to himself on a business' account on Dec. 11, 2015.

Other charges were dismissed and Schaefer was placed on probation for 2 1/2-years.

Payment of restitution was ordered but the amount hasn't been determined yet. The charges, which also included another forgery in December 2015 and one in January 2016, list checks totaling more than $2,000.

Schaefer was also ordered to pay about $900 in fines and court fees. Jail time was stayed, meaning he won't have to serve it if he follows his sentence's other requirements.

O'Brien accepted a plea agreement that Scales and Ortega recommended.

  • Bradley D. Gobert, 39, for whom records list an address of 400 Lafayette Ave., Mattoon, to an obstructing justice charge alleging he lied to police on April 15 to try to keep from being charged with driving with a revoked license.

There was no agreement on a sentence and Gobert's sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 2. He faces the possibility of a one- to six-year prison sentence though prison time won't be required.

Case records say police discovered that Gobert was the driver of a motorcycle that was involved in an accident in Mattoon.

The obstructing justice charge resulted from his claim that a cut on his head he received in the accident was from a fall, the records say.

Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher is prosecuting the case and attorney Todd Reardon represents Gobert.

  • Kim B. Shaffer, 64, whose address on record is in Terre Haute, Ind., to a theft charge alleging he stole materials from United Graphics in Mattoon in October of last year.

Shaffer was employed at the business and didn't return the materials to the company when he left the job, according to Scales, who prosecuted.

He was sentenced to two years of second chance probation, a sentence that allows for no record of a conviction if completed successfully.

Scales and defense attorney Ed Piraino recommended the plea agreement.

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