URBANA - A former area athlete has an opportunity to avoid serving more time in prison.
Champaign County Circuit Judge Tom Difanis on Monday allowed Urbana native Charles "Tyke" Peacock to withdraw a previous guilty plea to burglary in exchange for a guilty plea to unlawful use of a credit card.
Peacock's public defender, Jamie Propps, filed a motion on Monday to vacate judgment on the burglary sentence and to allow Peacock, 50, to plead guilty to the unlawful use of a credit card charge.
Assistant State's Attorney Joel Fletcher then agreed to dismiss the burglary charge.
According to State's Attorney Julia Rietz, the change in charges means Peacock could receive probation when Difanis sentences him on the credit card conviction on May 2.
The burglary conviction would have been non-probationable.
Peacock, a former track and basketball athlete, has been recovering from an addiction to cocaine at the Men's Substance Abuse Free Environment House, a 12-month rehabilitation program operated through the Canaan Baptist Church in Urbana.
"Peacock had previously been sentenced to six years in prison on the burglary charge, but Judge Difanis gave him time to turn himself in to serve the sentence," Rietz said. "Given his participation in drug treatment, an agreement was reached to allow him to withdraw the plea and re-plead to unlawful use of a credit card, which is a probationable offense."
Rietz added that Peacock still faces a potential prison sentence of two to five years.
Peacock pleaded guilty in October 2010 to entering the County Market on Philo Road in Urbana on March 13, 2009, intending to use a stolen credit card. Fletcher said Peacock had prior convictions for robbery, theft, residential burglary, possession of drug paraphernalia and cannabis and a false report to law enforcement.
Propps said she was pleased Peacock would be eligible for probation.
"I have faith that Tyke can be a pillar in the community," Propps said. "I really hope that he takes this time to re-establish his connection with his family and re-establish his connection with the community. I hope he can become a role model in the future for the local youth."