CHARLESTON -- A man who admitted choking a woman faced a requirement of prison time for the offense, based on his criminal record.

Joshua J. Busby, 28, for whom court records list an address of an apartment at 1301 Champaign Ave., Mattoon, pleaded guilty to an aggravated domestic battery charge and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Busby was accused of choking the woman to point of impeding her breathing and circulation on Aug. 22. That was during what case records say was an argument about her wanting to end their relationship.

The charge to which he pleaded guilty can normally result in a prison sentence of three to seven years with probation as an option.

Records show Busby has prior methamphetamine possession convictions for which he served prison time as well as earlier convictions for aggravated battery and burglary.

Coles County Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien sentenced Busby by accepting the terms of a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales and Assistant Public Defender Jesse Danley recommended.

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

  • Jacob M. Cunningham, 23, whose address on record is 1121 W. Polk Ave., Charleston, to a theft charge alleging he stole a digital media player device from a woman on Aug. 20.

With the agreement reached in his case, Cunningham was sentenced to maximum probation term possible for the conviction, 2 1/2 years.

His prior conviction meant he was also eligible for a prison sentence of up to six years, twice the normal maximum.

Terms of the probation sentence included an evaluation for substance abuse treatment and a requirement that he follow the evaluation's recommendations.

Jail time was also included but stayed, meaning Cunningham won't have to serve it if he follows his sentence's other requirements.

The prosecution also agreed to not seek revocation of the probation sentences Cunningham received for earlier convictions for unlawful possession of a credit card and theft.

O'Brien accepted the plea agreement that State's Attorney Brian Bower and Public Defender Anthony Ortega recommended.

  • Scott D. Stone, 32, for whom records list an address of 1829 Dakota Ave., Mattoon, to a felony burglary charge and a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

Stone admitted entering a storage shed at a Mattoon residence on Aug. 1 to steal a power washer and yard trimmer and pushing a woman on June 12 of last year.

Terms of his two-year probation sentence included an evaluation for substance abuse treatment and other counseling, including specific domestic abuse counseling.

Stone was also ordered to pay $150 in restitution for the burglary plus about $900 in fines and court fees. A felony aggravated battery charge alleging he also choked a man during the June 2016 incident was dismissed.

Bower and Danley recommended the plea agreement.

  • Rachel A. Myers, 32, whose most recent address on record is on Prairie Avenue in Mattoon, to a burglary charge alleging she entered a parked vehicle to steal items from it on Aug. 8.

A charge alleging Myers was also found with methamphetamine was dismissed. Terms of her two-year probation sentence included a treatment evaluation, about $800 in fines and fees and stayed jail time.

Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf and Ortega recommended the plea agreement.


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