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Tony Ricketts

Ricketts

CHARLESTON — More prison time was added to the term of a man convicted of failing to report for an earlier sentence he received for a DUI conviction.

Tony W. Ricketts received a three-year prison sentence for not reporting to the Coles County jail as required on July 25.

That prison term will be added to the four-year sentence he received in June when he pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.

Ricketts, 64, whose most recent address on record is in the state of Kansas, was arrested in that state on Aug. 3, according to evidence during a trial in February.

He received the earlier prison sentence for being intoxicated when he caused the accident in a construction zone on Illinois Route 16 east of Charleston on July 13, 2013.

At the time of his guilty plea, Ricketts was allowed to remain free on bond until July 25 so he could attend to personal matters. He was ordered to report to the county jail on that date to await transport to prison but didn't report on that date.

During the February trial, Ricketts testified that he had medical issues that kept him from reporting to jail when he was ordered.

He also claimed that someone told him a news report indicated his prison sentence for the DUI was five years and he decided not to report because he thought the sentence was longer than he understood.

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A transcript of the hearing at which Ricketts pleaded guilty and received the four-year sentence was read during the prosecution's evidence at the trial.

A prison sentence of two to 10 years was possible for the conviction and the sentence he received had to be added to his prison term for the DUI conviction.

Circuit Judge James Glenn imposed the prison term after hearing sentencing recommendations from Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher and Public Defender Anthony Ortega.

The 2013 accident occurred at the Route 16 bridge between Charleston and Ashmore that was under construction at the time.

According to police accounts, Ricketts' pickup truck hit a car that was stopped at a signal that limited traffic to one lane on the bridge during the construction.

Ricketts' truck caught fire, but he was able to release cattle he was hauling in the trailer, according to the police accounts. Two Paris residents who were in the car that his truck hit needed medical attention after the accident.

Until September 2017, authorities apparently had no indication of Ricketts' whereabouts after he was released from a Springfield hospital, where he was treated for the injuries he received in the accident.

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Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave

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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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