Plea to gun charge brings 14-year prison term

Plea to gun charge brings 14-year prison term

URBANA — An Urbana man with a history of violent crimes has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for having a loaded gun in Urbana almost two years ago.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd on Monday accepted the negotiated plea agreement put forward by Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett and Assistant Public Defender Janie Miller-Jones on behalf of Coty Decker, 26.

Bennett said Decker will begin serving his state sentence for unlawful possession of firearms by a felon after he completes a 68-month prison sentence he recently received in Nevada for a March 2013 federal conviction of possession of a firearm.

In the local case, Bennett said on Oct. 6, 2012, Urbana police got a call that Decker was in a car in southeast Urbana that might have a gun in it. Police stopped the car in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on Philo Road and found a loaded black Ruger handgun on the floor between the driver's door and seat. Decker had been driving the car. He denied the gun was his but his fingerprint was found on the magazine, Bennett said.

In return for Decker's plea, Bennett dismissed another charge of being an armed habitual criminal. He also dismissed a separate case against Decker of burglary and theft, alleging that he had taken part in the theft of copper and other valuable metals from the Urbana Early Childhood school at 2202 E. Washington St., U, in November 2012.

Bennett said Decker had prior convictions for possession of a stolen vehicle, obstructing justice, robbery and unlawful use of weapons by a felon.

He is eligible for day-for-day good time on his state sentence, for which he has already served 236 days.

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