Local man with long criminal history going to prison

Local man with long criminal history going to prison

URBANA — A Champaign man with a history of driving without a license and selling drugs has been sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison for his latest convictions.

Marvin Bennett, 44, who listed an address in the 1100 block of North Walnut Street, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Champaign County to driving while revoked and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett — no relation to Marvin Bennett — said Champaign police arrested Bennett on April 17, 2011, for driving at a time when his license had been revoked and that he had at least nine previous convictions for the same offense.

He also pleaded guilty to selling about 2 grams of cocaine to an informant working with Urbana police on April 26 of this year. The sale took place in the parking lot of a grocery store within 1,000 feet of Crystal Lake Park.

Scott Bennett said Marvin Bennett had prior convictions for distribution of a look-alike substance, theft, domestic battery and 11 prior convictions for driving under suspension or revocation. In return for his plea, another charge of driving under revocation was dismissed.

In other cases recently resolved in Champaign County :

— Paul Shaw, 28, homeless, was resentenced to seven years in prison for a theft conviction he received last year after he admitted stealing air conditioners that belonged to a Champaign business.

Shaw admitted he violated the probation he received for that by committing disorderly conduct. On April 24, he was arrested for exposing his genitals to women who were working at Health Alliance Medical Plans and Brownfield Sports in Lincoln Square Village.

Shaw had several prior convictions dating to when he was a teen.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender George Vargas, asked Judge Tom Difanis to consider that Shaw was raised in foster care, that his mother is schizophrenic, and that he suffers from mental-health problems.

Difanis said while he was sympathetic to Shaw's challenges, the public needed to be protected.

— Dekota Gates, 23, whose last known local address was in Urbana, was resentenced to two years in prison for reckless conduct.

Gates pleaded guilty to that in 2010, admitting that he seriously injured his girlfriend in May 2010 by gunning the accelerator of his car while she was on the hood trying to keep him from leaving after an argument. The girlfriend, Brooke Earl, fell to the ground and hit her head. She was hospitalized for months with a serious brain injury but recovered.

Gates admitted he violated the probation he received by failing to report to a probation officer, do public service or complete partner abuse intervention training.


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