All Courts, Police, and Fire Content

All Courts, Police, and Fire Content

Area bomb squad called to dispose of fireworks materials

WESTVILLE – Four members of a local bomb squad are returning to a home in Westville to finish disposing of explosives and chemicals found in a garage.

The University of Illinois-Champaign Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was called Saturday afternoon by the Vermilion County Sheriff's Office after deputies responding to a domestic incident in Westville found chemicals and suspected explosive materials in the garage, according to UI police Lt. Skip Frost, leader of the bomb squad.

Urbana man sentenced to 12 years in prison

URBANA – An Urbana man with a history of mental health problems and violent crimes was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for his latest.

Victor Smith, 37, whose last known address was in the 1500 block of East Washington Street, pleaded guilty in May to robbery, admitting that he took cash from a register at the McDonald's, 1705 Philo Road, U, on Nov. 21.

26-year-old sentenced to 40 years in prison for rapes

URBANA – A Champaign man who pleaded guilty Friday to two violent sexual assaults on women in their homes told a Champaign County judge through a translator that he "just wanted to sign the papers" and get on with his sentence.

Jesus Cervantes Martinez, 26, whose last known address was in the 1600 block of Kiler Drive, also asked Judge Tom Difanis, through the translator, if he would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence, which Difanis assured him he would.

Truck, trailer to aid responders at disaster scenes

CHAMPAIGN – Local officials displayed a new, state-of-the-art communications tool Friday as fire departments from throughout the state gathered in Champaign.

The Champaign Fire Department will be the host for the new mobile center to allow radio, phone, satellite and Internet communications for police, fire and public works departments, along with utility companies and other organizations responding to disaster scenes.

St. Joseph residents watching out for each other

ST. JOSEPH – More than 23 families have already signed up for St. Joseph's first neighborhood watch program in many years, according to Champaign County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Oliger.

Oliger regularly patrols the village as part of a contract with the county, and he decided to pursue a neighborhood watch program last month as a way to protect the community when he isn't on duty.

Longtime law enforcement officers retiring this month

URBANA – Sixty-three years of institutional memory is exiting the Champaign County Sheriff's Office.

Hired with money from a federal grant designed to boost patrols in the county, Walter Wolfe of rural St. Joseph and Richard Quick of rural Urbana, formerly Rantoul, both started Jan. 6, 1975. The two are ending their law enforcement careers this month.

Teen admits role in death of officer

URBANA – C.J. Tucker nodded and occasionally said that he understood what he was doing Thursday morning as he admitted his role in the brutal killing of a Parkland College police officer last summer.

Tucker, 16, is the youngest of the trio accused of the bludgeoning and stabbing death of Peter McLaughlin, 45, at his Urbana home on Aug. 4, 2005,

Man receives 20 years for robbery, clubbings

URBANA – A Champaign man who participated in robbing and clubbing two men at a Champaign business last summer was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison.

Because both the victims sustained great bodily harm, Quentin S. Robinson will have to serve at least 17 years of his sentence. He was given credit for 273 days already served.

Man receives 40-year term for murder

URBANA – A Champaign man who fatally stabbed another man apologized to the victim's family and his own moments before being handed a 40-year prison sentence.

"Drugs have taken over my life. It's hard knowing I've taken someone's life," said Steven Evans Jr., 30, as his mother quietly cried.

Danville officer kills man during foot chase

DANVILLE – A veteran Danville police officer has been placed on paid leave after fatally shooting a Danville man during a foot chase at the Fair Oaks housing complex early Tuesday morning.

Aaron Moss, 27, of Danville, was pronounced dead at 12:47 a.m. Tuesday at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, according to the Vermilion County coroner's office.