Life sentence reduced to 30 years in drug case

Life sentence reduced to 30 years in drug case

PEORIA — An Urbana man who had been sentenced to life in prison for having crack cocaine in his apartment in 2010 has received a reduced sentence from a federal judge thanks to the Fair Sentencing Act.

Terrion Herman, now 37, was resentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison on his conviction for having more than 50 grams of crack cocaine intended for sale in his apartment in the 1200 block of South Vine Street, Urbana, on Feb. 3, 2010.

A jury had convicted Herman in June 2011 and the life sentence he received from federal Judge Michael McCuskey in January 2012 was mandated because of his prior drug-related convictions.

While Herman was appealing the life sentence, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced penalties for crack cocaine crimes and was signed into law in August 2010, should apply retroactively to people like Herman.

That meant that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sent Herman's case back to McCuskey for resentencing. Herman then asked for a new hearing to suppress evidence in his case, which McCuskey granted over the objection of Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller.

Urbana police had found about 3.3 ounces (94 grams) of crack cocaine hidden inside the back of a clock in Herman's apartment, which was just blocks away from the police station and the federal courthouse. They also found plastic bags and a digital scale indicating he was selling the crack.

After granting the new suppression hearing, McCuskey then recused himself and the case was assigned to Judge James Shadid in Peoria.

Miller asked Shadid to reconsider McCuskey's order for a new suppression hearing, which Shadid did on Monday. He vacated McCuskey's order for a new hearing and set the case for resentencing.

On Wednesday, Shadid found that Herman's range of penalties under the Fair Sentencing Act was 10 years to life, instead of the previous mandatory life.

Defense attorney Baku Patel of Urbana sought a 10-year sentence for Herman, who had at least four prior felony drug convictions, while Miller asked for 37 years.

Shadid imposed the 30-year sentence to be followed by eight years of mandatory supervised release.

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