CHARLESTON -- A man pleaded guilty to a charge accusing him of stealing from units at a storage facility but could still avoid a prison sentence for a conviction that would require prison time.

Michael A. Adele also admitted fleeing from police during another incident and was placed on probation. In both cases, he was ordered to take part in Coles County's drug court program.

Adele, 30, for whom court records list an address of 2504 Marshall Ave., Mattoon, was first accused of burglarizing units at Outback Storage, 1000 Old State Road, Mattoon, on Aug. 3.

The burglary charge he faced in that case normally can result in a prison sentence of three to seven years or up to four years of probation.

However, in Adele's case, his criminal record meant a six- to 30-year prison term would be required for a conviction. His prior convictions include burglary offenses for which he served prison time.

Though he pleaded guilty to the charge, sentencing was delayed pending his progress in the drug court program, which was made a bond requirement.

Adele was ordered to pay just more than $3,000 in restitution for items stolen from three storage units at the facility.

Drug court includes frequent court appearances along with requirements for treatment, employment and other restrictions. If completed successfully, it can lead to a charge being dismissed.

The program can also be a requirement of a probation sentence, which is what happened in other the case in which Adele pleaded guilty.

In that case, he was charged with aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude police. He was accused of failing to stop for a police officer on Aug. 16 and disobeying at least two traffic control devices during the chase that followed.

His sentence was 2 1/2 years of probation. That was the maximum probation term possible for the offense, a felony that could have brought a one- to six-year prison term.

Also with the agreement reached, six months in jail was part of Adele's probation sentence but it was stayed. That means he won't have to serve it unless it's ordered as a sanction in case of violations.

The prosecution also agreed to not seek revocation of the two-year probation sentence Adele received in January for pleading guilty to a felony theft charge.

Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien accepted a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales and Assistant Public Defender Jesse Danley recommended.

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Reporter

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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