URBANA — An Urbana man who had a stolen computer in his home late last year faces up to six years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
A Champaign County jury deliberated about a half-hour Friday before finding Ellis Nash, 32, guilty of theft.
Testimony at his two-day trial before Judge Tom Difanis was that Urbana police and Champaign County sheriff's deputies found an Apple Macintosh computer belonging to the Urbana school district during a court-ordered search of Nash's home in the 2400 block of Elm Street in Urbana on Dec. 15.
Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber said police obtained the search warrant for Nash's home after learning that he might have items taken in a rash of residential burglaries in November and December in east Urbana, some in the city and some in the county's jurisdiction.
The Apple computer they found in Nash's home had "Urbana District 116" and an inventory number etched in it, Weber said. It had been stolen in a burglary at Thomas Paine School at the end of July.
Nash did not testify at trial but told police when he was arrested that he obtained the computer from the two juveniles who were responsible for the school burglary. He also supplied police with information on young men involved in some of the other residential burglaries, Weber said.
Nash's girlfriend testified she had bought the computer from one of the teens for $150 and realized it was probably stolen but decided she wanted to keep it anyway. Nash also told police he knew it was wrong to keep the stolen computer.
Nash was represented by Urbana attorney Bruce Ratcliffe.
Difanis set Nash's sentencing for Sept. 26. Because of his record, including convictions for residential burglary, theft and possession with intent to deliver cannabis, Nash faces an extended term ranging from probation to one to six years in prison for his latest conviction.