Nine-year prison term in robbery case

URBANA — An Urbana man whose relapse into cocaine use apparently triggered a robbery spree has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Demarvin Thornton, 23, of the 1200 block of West Beslin Street, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Harry Clem to robbery in one case and aggravated robbery in a second for sentences of nine years for each crime, to be served at the same time.

In exchange, Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark dismissed a third case in which Thornton was charged with attempted robbery.

Thornton pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery for a June 13 incident in which he robbed a resident of the 300 block of East Clark Street, Champaign, of his cell phone, wallet, PlayStation and a game for it inside the man's apartment about 6:10 a.m. He later told police the gun was a toy.

He also pleaded guilty to a June 18 robbery in which he took a woman's cell phone as she walked in an alley behind the 300 block of East Stoughton Street in Champaign about 4:30 a.m. with a friend.

The attempted robbery that was dismissed allegedly occurred June 15 at 7:30 a.m. in the 100 block of South Fourth Street in Champaign and involved an attempt to rob a man.

Thornton told police that he had relapsed into using cocaine and was committing the holdups to get money for drugs.

As part of his sentence he was ordered to make restitution of $460 to the man he robbed on Clark Street and $706 to the woman he robbed in the alley.

Judge Harry Clem also agreed to recommend Thornton for the Department of Corrections' substance abuse program. Clark said Thornton's prior convictions included unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, theft from the person and disorderly conduct.

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