CHARLESTON -- A woman was sentenced to the maximum probation term possible for her second Coles County methamphetamine possession conviction in less than six months.

Natalie R. Seafler, 33, whose current address on record is in Flora in Clay County, formerly of Charleston, was ordered into an intensive treatment program as part of her sentence.

Most recently, Seafler pleaded guilty to a charge that accused her of having methamphetamine in Coles County on Sept. 12.

With the agreement reached in her case, she was placed on probation for 2 1/2 years for the conviction that also could have resulted in a two- to 10-year prison term. Seafler's record meant she was eligible for twice the normal maximum prison sentence for the conviction.

Her probation requirements included the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities program, which focuses on finding treatment or counseling to end criminal behavior.

An evaluation for substance abuse treatment was also ordered and the sentence's terms also include payment of about $1,500 in fines and court fees. Jail time was stayed, meaning Seafler won't have to serve it if she follow the sentence's other requirements.

The TASC requirement was also added to the 2 1/2-year probation sentence Seafler received in July when she pleaded guilty to a charge alleging she had methamphetamine on March 29.

The prosecution agreed to that change to Seafler's earlier probation sentence and to not seek revocation of the sentence, which could have led to resentencing and prison time.

Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien imposed the sentence, accepting the terms of a plea agreement that State's Attorney Brian Bower and Assistant Public Defender Jesse Danley recommended.

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

  • Mitchell T. Ragland, 23, whose address on record is in Effingham, to a misdemeanor property damage charge alleging he damaged a woman's cellphone when they were at Lake Charleston on June 25, 2016.

A felony charge accusing Ragland of breaking the window of the car the woman was driving dismissed. Terms of his two-year probation sentence included a substance abuse treatment evaluation and stayed jail time.

Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales and defense attorney Lou Viverito recommended the plea agreement.

Ragland and the woman were together at the lake when they locked the keys inside the vehicle, according to Scales.

Ragland broke the vehicle's window to enter and retrieve the woman's phone, which he used to call a taxi, Scales said. Ragland threw the phone and damaged it then left the scene without the woman, Scales said.

  • Juan S. Jones, 68, whose current address on record is in Sauk Village, to a charge of driving while license revoked in connection with a traffic stop in Coles County on Aug. 6, 2015.

The charge was a felony because of prior convictions. Jones was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge, which is supervision similar to probation but with fewer conditions.

Terms included a total of 30 days in jail to be served one week each month through May. Traffic citations, including one for speeding, were dismissed.

Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher and defense attorney Douglas Lawlyes recommended the plea agreement.

Jones' case was delayed largely because he failed to appear in court several times, including between July 2016 and May of last year.


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