Mom, teen son jailed for allegedly having guns, drugs

Mom, teen son jailed for allegedly having guns, drugs

URBANA — A 36-year-old Champaign woman and her teen son were both ordered held in jail after being accused of having guns and drugs in their home.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Tom Difanis arraigned Debra Taylor-Smith, 36, of the 1000 block of West Eureka Street on charges of unlawful possession of weapon by a felon and unlawful possession of a controlled substance minutes after arraigning her teen son in a juvenile court hearing.

Mother and son sat across the courtroom from each other as Difanis read the charges listed in a juvenile petition against the teen.

He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a felony, and possession of cannabis, a misdemanor.

The criminal charges against the pair stemmed from their arrest Tuesday morning.

Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton said members of the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force went to the home with a search warrant Tuesday after having made two previous controlled buys of cocaine, allegedly from Taylor-Smith, in early November.

In her sock drawer, Clifton said, police found a loaded gun. Inside the house, they also found $5,742 in cash, a digital scale with suspected cocaine residue, and 50 tablets of Tramadol, a painkiller.

In her teen son's room was a safe containing about an ounce of cannabis, a 9 mm loaded handgun, and his high school identification card, Clifton said.

Clifton said Taylor-Smith told officers that "her son and his friends sometimes carry guns."

Because he is under 18, the teen is not allowed to possess a gun.

Police went to his Champaign high school and arrested him.

Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Corum was appointed to represent the pair for purposes of arraignment.

Difanis ordered the teen held in the Juvenile Detention Center until a Dec. 8 trial despite Corum's suggestion that he be released to live with his grandmother.

As for Taylor-Smith, Corum said she has six children ranging in age from 4 to 17 and asked that Difanis set a low bond so she could be released.

After hearing the facts surrounding her arrest and that she had prior convictions for aggravated battery, unlawful transfer of a firearm and driving under suspension, Difanis set her bond at $75,000.

She was told to be back in court Dec. 19.

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Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes. wrote on November 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Mom of the year............ just teaching the son the family trade.




I will await the SJW to tell us that she had not opportunities other than drugs and guns to support herself and her 6 children.............................