Burglary plea brings probation

Burglary plea brings probation

URBANA — A Champaign man whose DNA was used to link him to a residential burglary in Champaign last year was sentenced Friday to two years of probation after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Walter J. Smith, 25, who listed an address in the 800 block of Harvard Street, pleaded guilty to burglary, admitting that on June 11, 2013, he entered a home in the 1300 block of Fairfax Drive in Champaign intending to steal.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett told Judge Heidi Ladd that the resident discovered a window broken, her home ransacked and a PlayStation, video games, and a laptop computer stolen on that day. She also found blood on a curtain by the broken window.

Police had that stain analyzed and the state crime lab determined earlier this year that it contained Smith's DNA. The woman knew Smith as the foster brother of a close friend, who had been at her home on a previous occasion.

Bennett said Smith was ordered to pay $2,903 in restitution and to have no contact with the victim.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Bennett dismissed the more serious residential burglary charge which carries a mandatory prison term.

Smith had a prior adjudication as a juvenile, the prosecutor said.

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