All Courts Police and Fire Content

All Courts Police and Fire Content

Justice career born of tragedy

URBANA – She's only 33 years old, but Renae Yandell already has worked for 14 years in two state's attorneys offices, a sheriff's office, a police department and for the FBI.

Her interest in the criminal justice field was sparked by tragedies that struck her own family when she was a child.

Kids from meth families face extra difficulties

A 14-year-old boy said that after his mother started using methamphetamine, she no longer acted like a mom should.

In contrast, his 13-year-old brother believes the government is persecuting their father unfairly.

Teen sentenced for starting fire

URBANA – Call it a $22,091 error in judgment.

For the 16-year-old Urbana youth who erred, it amounted to being kicked out of his school, spending three weeks in juvenile jail, a criminal conviction, $1,000 in restitution and having a whole lot of people watching his every move for at least the next two years.

Ex-attorney gets 33-month prison term

URBANA – A former Champaign man who practiced law locally for 30 years was sentenced Monday to 33 months in federal prison for stealing several hundred thousand dollars from an Urbana-based health care plan.

Gary Sudeth, who pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in January, will have to report to prison July 21. He also will have to repay Health Alliance Medical Plans $611,512.

Group to recognize eight lawyers in 1st 'Pillars of the Bar' class

Their accomplishments are legion. Their devotion to the law profession unsurpassed. And for their contributions, eight men, who are all graduates of the University of Illinois College of Law, have been selected as the first class of the Champaign County Bar Association's "Pillars of the Bar."

Six men still living and two who have died will be honored at a dinner June 26, which follows a golf outing to raise money for the Illinois Bar Foundation, Champaign County Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. All of the men chosen practiced more than 50 years in Champaign County. What follows are a few of the highlights of their careers:

Early decision makes Bily Urbana's top cop

URBANA – Mike Bily wanted to be a cop ever since he was in high school at Gibson City.

Now, he's the top cop in Urbana.

Bily, 45, said he grew up on a farm in the Gibson City area. He played football in high school and had a desire to become a police officer in the mid-1970s.

Largest drug court class set to graduate

URBANA – It took Jeanine Wright a little longer than her teachers had hoped, but on Monday she will graduate from one of the toughest schools in the world – Champaign County's drug court.

Wright, 30, of Urbana is among seven – the largest class ever– to have completed the program designed to get people whose crimes are linked to their drug addiction back on the straight and narrow.

Police program holds graduation, marks 50 years

James Gentry, a graduate of the original class from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, pinned an award on the uniform of the top student in this year's class, which marked 50 years of police training.

The historic graduation ceremony marked the culmination of a 12-week basic law enforcement training program for 63 police officers.

Coroner's jury rules teen's death accidental

DANVILLE – On the evening of Charles Christopher Gaston's death at a city parking garage, he and two other juveniles had been loitering at the four-level structure, a Danville police official said Wednesday.

"They were throwing rocks from the top of the ramp," Deputy police Director Doug Miller said.

Panel recommends 1-year suspension for Monticello lawyer

SPRINGFIELD – A state review board has recommended a one-year suspension for Monticello attorney Leonard Keith Hays Jr., who admitted to committing forgery and perjury in his own divorce proceedings.

"This is a sad episode in a long and respectable career, but it is elementary that an attorney cannot deceive the court," the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission review board stated in its report.