Man who broke in to Market Place Mall sentenced to 16.5 years

Man who broke in to Market Place Mall sentenced to 16.5 years

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted that breaking into Market Place Mall after closing in early 2016 to steal is headed to prison for 16½ years.

Judge Tom Difanis agreed to recommend Terence Brown, 53, who last lived locally in the 1900 block of Southwood Drive, for drug treatment while in the penitentiary.

Brown pleaded guilty to burglary and was given credit on his sentence for 190 days already served. He had been arrested and charged in March 2016 with burglary and aggravated battery but failed to appear in court in Novbember 2016, prompting a warrant to be issued for his arrest.

Brown was picked up out of state earlier this year and returned to Champaign County last month.

The burglary he pleaded guilty to happened on March 12, 2016, Lozar said. A security officer at the mall at 2000 N. Neil St. found Brown and a woman trying to break in to a cash register at the Great Steak Co.

Lozar said the officer and Brown got into a prolonged struggle, with Brown hitting the officer with a pry bar, cutting the officer's head.

The woman with him fled but Brown was caught inside the mall by the security officer and Champaign police.

Lozar agreed to dismiss the aggravated battery charge in return for Brown's plea to the burglary.

Because of his prior record, which included convictions for robbery, residential burglary, theft, sex assault and armed robbery, Brown had to be sentenced as a Class X felon.

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