Lawyers working on plea agreement for tuberculosis patient
URBANA — Attorneys are trying to work out a plea agreement for a Champaign tuberculosis patient who faces a contempt case in connection with an earlier isolation order while he was considered able to infect others with the disease.
Christian Mbemba Ibanda was in court with a French translator Monday afternoon for a status hearing, and Champaign County Associate Judge Chase Leonhard scheduled another hearing for 1 p.m. May 23.
Assistant State's Attorney David DeThorne said he and Ibanda's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Jim Kuehl, are trying to work out a resolution that wouldn't involve going to trial.
"But we're not there yet," he told the judge.
Kuehl also said a compromise solution is being discussed.
Leonhard had entered the home isolation order for Ibanda, 24, of 100 Kenwood Road, C, April 11, after the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said Ibanda didn't comply with voluntary home isolation to keep his contagious disease from spreading and some other terms of his treatment.
Ibanda was arrested on a criminal contempt petition filed April 17, alleging he didn't stay home and otherwise comply with some of the terms of the court isolation order.
He was jailed in Piatt County and received monitored TB therapy in custody through the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department.
Ibanda is no longer considered contagious, according to another petition filed by DeThorne seeking Ibanda's release from isolation, which was allowed by Leonhard at last week's hearing. Also at that last hearing, Leonhard agreed to a motion by Kuehl to have Ibanda released from jail on his own recognizance.
Ibanda still needs about seven more months of TB treatment, plus monitoring and follow-up, but he no longer needs to be isolated from others, according to Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.