Subscribe for 33¢ / day

CHARLESTON -- A man was placed on probation when he admitted having methamphetamine and also waived extradition to face another charge in the state of Texas.

Jonathan J. Berry, 29, for whom Coles County court records list an address of 703 West Park Plaza, Mattoon, pleaded guilty to charge accusing him of having methamphetamine on Jan. 26.

With the agreement reached in his case, Berry received the maximum possible probation term of 2 1/2 years for the conviction that also could have resulted in a prison sentence of two to five years.

Probation terms included an evaluation for substance abuse treatment and payment of about $1,700 in fines and court fees.

Berry also signed an extradition waiver to Bexar County, Texas, where records show he's accused of violating a probation sentence for a drug possession conviction.

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

In other cases in court before O'Brien recently:

  • Robby E. Huddleston Sr., 50, whose most recent address on record is in Janesville, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years of probation for threatening a woman who was a witness in another court case in which he was involved.

Huddleston pleaded guilty in December to a charge of unlawful communication with a witness that accused him of hitting a window of the vehicle the woman was driving and yelling threats at her on Feb. 18.

Other charges were dismissed, including offenses that would have required prison time with a conviction, based on Huddleston's criminal record.

Probation terms included no contact with the woman and evaluations for counseling and substance abuse treatment. Huddleston was also sentenced to four weekends in jail with more jail time stayed, meaning he won't have to serve it if he follows requirements.

O'Brien based the sentence on recommendations from Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher and Assistant Public Defender Jesse Danley.

  • Christopher L. Stephenson, 44, for whom records list a Decatur address, formerly of Mattoon, pleaded guilty to a felony aggravated driving under the influence charge.

Stephenson was accused of driving with a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit and when his license was suspended in rural Coles County on July 26, 2016.

Terms of his two-year probation sentence included treatment, six weekends in jail starting Feb. 22 with more jail time stayed and payment of about $3,000 in fines and fees.

Also, Stephenson was unsuccessfully discharged from the court supervision sentence he received for a 2015 Coles County DUI, meaning he'll now have a record of conviction in that case.

O'Brien accepted a plea agreement that Bucher and defense attorney Douglas Lawlyes recommended.

  • Justin L. Watson, 34, whose address on record is in Hindsboro, formerly of Oakland, pleaded guilty to an aggravated driving under the influence charge alleging he drove while intoxicated in Oakland on Dec. 6, 2016.

The charge was a felony because of prior DUI convictions and Watson was sentenced to two years of probation. Terms included treatment, about three weeks in jail starting March 9 with more time stayed, and payment of about $1,800 in fines and fees.

A charge of driving while license suspended or revoked, also a felony because of prior convictions, was dismissed. Bucher and Lawlyes recommended the plea agreement.


Subscribe to the JG-TC

Reporting like this is brought to you by a staff of experienced local journalists committed to telling the stories of your community.
Support from subscribers is vital to continue our mission.

Become a subscriber

Thank you for subscribing

Your contribution makes local journalism possible.

Load comments