Teen pleads guilty, gets five years for burglary

Teen pleads guilty, gets five years for burglary

URBANA — A Rantoul teen who admitted he broke into a home in that village has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Christian Barragan, 17, of the 200 block of Illinois Drive, pleaded guilty Tuesday to residential burglary, admitting that on March 22, he broke into a home in the 1200 block of Magnolia Drive.

A second count of burglary to the Sol Azteca Mexican Restaurant on March 13 was dismissed in return for his plea.

Judge Harry Clem agreed to recommend Barragan for a sentence to boot camp, a decision ultimately made by the Department of Corrections. 

Barragan had a previous conviction for burglary that he received earlier this year for a break-in to the La Victoria grocery store at 126 E. Sangamon Ave., Rantoul.

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Skepticity wrote on November 06, 2013 at 1:11 pm

The Circuit Clerk records indicate that Mr. Barragan was charged in 3 different Felony cases during this year, one being dismissed:

13CF000321 - filed 02/25/13; Class 2 Burglary, sentenced on 07/01/13 to 24 months probation plus the 101 days served in jail before sentencing.  He was released and served just over 3 months on probation before his arrest in October 2013.

13CF000495 - filed 03/27/13; 2 counts of Class 3 Aggravated Battery in a Public Place.  This was dismissed 07/01/13 when he pled guilty to the case above. 

13CF001672 - Filed 10/07/13; Burglary (which was dismissed as part of his 11/05/13 plea agreement), and Residential Burglary to which he admitted on 11/05/13.  He was sentenced to 5 years incarceration with credit for time served (33 days)

BUT the News-Gazette neglected this part of the sentencing: 

"Consent to participate in the impact incarceration program on file. Written Impact Incarceration Sentencing Order entered."

That means that if he complies with DOC rules and enters and completes the so called "boot camp" program (which admittedly is a tough, challenging program) he can be released on parole in a few months, depending on when he enters the program and the extent of his compliance with program expectations. 

Whether the option of "boot camp" is the right thing or not in this case is a matter of opinion.  He is a young man, perhaps needing some correction and a second chance.  But he had a chance at probation after 101 days in jail for his first burglary, and after his release on probation he was caught committing burglary again about 3 months later. 

The News-Gazette usually reports a list of possible charges when someone is arrested.  Then the NG reports the charges the State's Attorney enters against that person, with the possible sentences they will face if found guilty.  Then at sentencing the News-Gazette lists the charge(s) for which they are convicted or the charge admitted to in the plea agreement, and the sentence given by the Court.  Most cases end in plea agreements, not trials. 

When reporting the sentence the News-Gazette does not usually list all the charges that were dropped in exchange for the plea.  The News-Gazette doesn't list previous charges for which the offender was guilty and those dropped in those plea agreements.  The News-Gazette does not always report impact incarceration sentences and doesn't inform the public that if the offender follows rules in boot camp he can be on the street again in a short time. 

The News-Gazette fosters the mistaken belief that the criminal was caught and incarcerated and the public is now safe for a while from the criminal repeating the crime. 

With plea bargains constantly dropping and reducing charges, sentencing reduced to probation instead of incarceration, and plea bargains offering the "impact incarceration" option that frequently leads to much earlier release than the sentence, the public is being given false confidence due to incomplete reporting.

When you inform the public of court actions and sentences, please tell us the whole story, not just the part that fosters a false sense of safety based in the idea that the criminal was found guilty and is supposedly serving his/her time. 

A sentence to 5 years for Mr. Barragan doesn't mean you won't see him next summer in your neighborhood.


Mary Schenk wrote on November 06, 2013 at 1:11 pm

You are correct that he was sentenced to boot camp and that is normally something we include in stories on dispositions. I missed the entry when I read the docket entry. My apologies.