CHARLESTON -- A man convicted of a DUI represented himself at his sentencing hearing and agreed to serve prison time.

Bryan D. Rhodes, 54, for whom records list an address of 501 S. 17th St., Mattoon, received a three-year prison sentence for his conviction for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.

The charge against Rhodes was a felony because he has three prior convictions for the offense and was in connection with a traffic stop on Jan. 22 of last year.

He was found guilty in August at a bench trial, during which a judge reaches a verdict instead of a jury.

Attorney Tyler Weaver represented Rhodes at that time but later filed a motion asking to withdraw from the case, saying Rhodes indicated he no longer wanted Weaver to represent him.

Coles County Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien granted the motion last month and Rhodes then said he would represent himself.

At sentencing, O'Brien accepted the agreement from Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher and Rhodes.

The sentence also included payment of about $1,500 and court fees along with an evaluation for alcohol and other substance abuse treatment and requirement that Rhodes follow the evaluation's recommendations.

Rhodes' record meant prison time was required for the conviction and the three-year sentence was the minimum possible. He was eligible for up to 14 years, twice the normal maximum, also because of earlier convictions.

Records show that Rhodes' criminal history dates to 1981 and also included aggravated domestic battery and theft convictions for which he served prison time.



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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