No-show sentenced to prison for drugs
URBANA — A Champaign man who failed to show up for his sentencing Wednesday for possessing cocaine was sentenced anyway to three years in prison.
Judge Roger Webber said he had difficulty finding anything in Mario Pettigrew’s past to mitigate his sentence.
In late November, a jury convicted Pettigrew, 24, of the 1500 block of Hedge Road, of possessing about 4 grams of cocaine, which police found near where he had been seated on a patio at the Prairie Green apartment complex on Urbana on June 1.
“He’s pretty young to have amassed such a record,” Webber said.
Assistant State’s Attorney Joel Fletcher argued for at least three years in prison for Pettigrew, who has prior convictions as a juvenile for criminal damage to property and possession of a handgun, and as an adult for obstructing identification, obstructing justice and consumption of liquor by a minor.
Fletcher said Pettigrew had fathered four children under the age of 5 and is more than $25,000 in arrears in child support on some of them. He also said prior chances at probation, jail and even prison have apparently not deterred Pettigrew’s criminal behavior.
His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Tony Allegretti, recommended probation and said a prison sentence would be a “waste of taxpayer resources” and wouldn’t help the community.