Teen pleads to misdemeanor in school break-in

Teen pleads to misdemeanor in school break-in

URBANA — A Mahomet teen who successfully completed Champaign County's diversion program has escaped a burglary conviction.

Austin Childress, 18, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Richard Klaus to misdemeanor theft in connection with a March 7, 2012, break-in at the Mahomet-Seymour High School. Grow lights for plants were stolen.

In January, Childress was referred to the diversion program, which required that he complete 40 hours of public service, pay a $200 fine and take an online education course about marijuana abuse by mid-April.

Having done what he promised to do, the state allowed Childress to plead to the less serious misdemeanor theft charge for a sentence of 18 months of conditional discharge, a form of probation without reporting to an officer. The burglary charge was dismissed.

Childress' co-defendant, Travis Hinton, 17, also of Mahomet, pleaded guilty in December to burglary for a sentence of a month in the county jail and three years of probation.

Days after the high school break-in, Hinton was arrested again and charged with possession with intent to deliver cannabis in connection with substances that police found in a search of his home. That second felony was ultimately dismissed as part of his negotiated plea agreement.

 

Sections (2):News, Local

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

alumni90 wrote on May 08, 2013 at 10:05 pm

WOW!  Did the two individuals have different attorneys to receive/earn different punishments?  One individual has a permanent felony burglary conviction on his record and the other does not?  One individual will report to a probation officer for three years and the other does not (and after sucessfully completing his adult diversion there will not be any record of the Burglary-now theft plea?)  WOW!  One can go to college, get a great job and not be reminded of an incident that occurred at the age of 17 while the other goes to jail for a month, can't get a job because he has a felony conviction to follow him for the rest of his life; and, possibly can't get into college....it doesn't sound very equal.

Mary Schenk wrote on May 09, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I have added an additional paragraph to the story that may help. Hinton had more police contact, which accounts for the differences in the way the cases were resolved. Sorry I didn't give you enough background from the beginning.