CHARLESTON -- A prosecutor cited a man's lack of criminal record and other factors in agreeing to reduce the methamphetamine charge against him so prison time was no longer required.

The agreement was in the case against Lance T. Newcomb, 20, for whom court records list an address of 2507 Prairie Ave. and who was accused of having the drug planning to sell it in March of last year.

Newcomb pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver after the amount of the drug listed in the charge was reduced.

He was sentenced to two years of probation and no longer faced a required prison sentence of at least six years.

Coles County Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf, who prosecuted, noted that Newcomb had no earlier criminal convictions. She also said he met all pretrial supervision and treatment requirements as another reason she agreed to reduce the charge.

With his sentence, Newcomb will have to continue treatment and will serve six months in jail. He was also ordered to pay about $6,000 in fines and court fees.

Circuit Judge James Glenn accepted the plea agreement, which Wolf and defense attorney Lee Waite recommended.

Records in the case say police found the methamphetamine in a garage at a Cooks Mills residence and Newcomb admitted it was his and that he'd been selling the drug.

In other cases in court recently, guilty pleas were also entered by:

  • John R. Valle, 42, whose address on record is in Granite City, to a theft charge alleging he stole merchandise from the Mattoon Rural King store on Dec. 12, 2017.

The charge was a felony because of a prior retail theft conviction from Madison County and Valle was sentenced to prison for 3 1/2 years.

His criminal record made him eligible for a prison sentence of more than the usual three-year maximum for the offense. The record included a St. Clair County methamphetamine offense conviction for which he served prison time.

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A burglary charge that could have brought a three- to seven-year prison term was dismissed.

With the agreement, Valle's Coles County sentence will run at the same time as the 3 1/2-year sentence he received in August for another Madison County theft conviction.

Valle was also ordered to pay restitution for the stolen merchandise along with about $400 in fines and fees.

Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien imposed the sentence by accepting a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher and Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Corum recommended.

  • Dandre Lampkin, 23, for whom records show addresses in Indiana, to a delivery of cannabis charge accusing him of selling marijuana in Mattoon on Sept. 17, 2017.

Lampkin was placed on probation for two years. The sentence was the type of probation known as first offender, which can result in no record of conviction if completed successfully.

Terms included a treatment evaluation and about $2,500 in fines and fees. Jail time was stayed, so Lampkin won't have to serve it if he follows his sentence's other requirements.

Glenn accepted a plea agreement that Wolf and defense attorney Russell Brown recommended.

  • Bridgette J. Ollis, 31, for whom records list addresses on Reynolds Drive and on Sixth Street in Charleston, to a charge of possession of another's credit card.

Ollis admitted using another person's card on Oct. 5, 2017, and was sentenced to two years of probation. Terms included $400 in restitution, about $400 in fines and fees, and stayed jail time.

Glenn accepted a plea agreement that Bucher and Public Defender Anthony Ortega recommended.

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



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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