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CHARLESTON -- The sentence a man received for allegedly trying to strangle a woman was based in part on the woman's request, according to the case's prosecutor.

There were also conflicting statements about the man and woman's relationship plus the fact that almost three years had passed since the incident, the prosecutor said.

The suspect, Trevor M. Carden, 27, pleaded guilty to an aggravated battery charge that accused him of choking the woman on Oct. 11, 2014, at the Charleston apartment where he then lived.

The charge was a felony offense that could have brought a prison sentence of one to three years with a conviction.

However, with the agreement reached in his case, Carden was sentenced to six months of conditional discharge. The sentence is supervision similar to probation but with fewer conditions.

Records in the case say Carden and the woman told police conflicting stories about whether the choking took place as part of consensual sex.

The woman claimed it happened that way but Carden said their sexual relationship had already ended and he denied seeing her on the day the incident reportedly occurred, the records say.

Coles County Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher said he considered the woman's request for a less-serious sentence. He said the time since the incident also affected his decision.

Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien included payment of about $1,110 in fines and court fees in Carden's sentence. Bucher and defense attorney Sean Britton recommended the plea agreement.

Records show that Carden didn't appear for a court hearing in the case in November 2014 and the warrant for his arrest that followed wasn't served until last month. Bucher said Carden is now living in Texas.

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

  • Zachery J. Hopley, 24, for whom records list a rural Martinsville address, to an obstructing justice charge alleging he tried to hide a drug pipe from Charleston police on June 6.

Hopley was placed on probation for two years with terms including a substance abuse treatment evaluation and a requirement that he follow its recommendations.

He was also ordered to pay about $500 in fines and fees, while jail time was stayed.

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

Case records say Hopley's arrest followed a traffic stop of a vehicle in which he was a passenger. He gave the pipe to an 11-year-old girl also in the vehicle and tried to have her hide it, the records say.

  • Carl R. McDowell, 52, for whom records show a rural Toledo address, to a methamphetamine possession count alleging he had drug found during a traffic stop in Mattoon on July 24.

McDowell was placed on probation for two years with terms including a substance abuse treatment evaluation and about $1,800 in fines and fees.

O'Brien accepted a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf and Public Defender Anthony Ortega recommended.

  • Jessica A. Culp, 34, whose address on record is 2808 Shelby Ave., Mattoon, to a methamphetamine possession charge alleging she had the drug on May 23.

Culp was sentenced to two years of first offender probation, which allows for no record of a conviction if completed successfully. Terms included a treatment evaluation, about $1,700 in fines and fees and stayed jail time.

O'Brien accepted a plea agreement that Wolf and Ortega recommended.


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