Champaign woman gets probation for retrieving boyfriend's gun

Champaign woman gets probation for retrieving boyfriend's gun

URBANA — A single mother of three who admitted she retrieved a gun that her boyfriend had hidden last summer has been sentenced to 18 months of probation and 90 days of electronic home detention.

Judge Roger Webber called Iyeshia Anderson's case "tough," not because it was legally complicated, but because "there are a lot of competing values here."

Anderson, 23, of the 500 block of South Mattis Avenue, Champaign, pleaded guilty in October to obstructing justice and aggravated unlawful use of weapons for retrieving a gun that Tywone Mitchell instructed her to in a June 8 call from the county jail.

Mitchell, 22, was in custody on a charge of unlawful use of weapons after being arrested in a car a day earlier along with accused murderer Marquise Burnett, 21.

Burnett is awaiting trial for the June 2 shooting death of Darien Carter, 24, in Champaign.

Anderson admitted that on Mitchell's instruction, she and her mother went to the 1600 block of Willow Road, where they picked up a bag of cannabis and a handgun from under a stairwell at the Urbana apartment complex.

Criminal charges against her mother, Karen Thatch, 42, of Urbana, are unresolved.

Anderson's court-appointed attorney, Matt Lee of Champaign, asked her a number of questions that revealed she is single; has children ages 4, 3 and 1; receives no support for them; works two part-time jobs; and shares the care of her children and her sister's children with her sister, who drives her to work because Anderson's license is suspended for non-payment of a speeding ticket.

Anderson's only prior conviction, she said, was as a juvenile for battery for a fight at school. She said she was raised by an aunt and her grandmother because her mother had no job or home for them and her father was in prison.

Asked by Lee why she didn't get the substance-abuse evaluation he recommended, Anderson said it was because her rent was due and she couldn't afford the $108 cost for it.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Larson, on cross-examination, asked Anderson if she agreed that gun violence was a problem in Champaign County. She said she did but admitted she intended to give the gun back to Mitchell whenever he was freed.

"I guess I was trying to protect him," she said.

Webber then asked her if the situation were repeated, what would she do.

"I wouldn't even respond," she said.

In his sentencing recommendation, Larson conceded that Anderson is hard-working and trying to keep her own children on track, "but at the same time ... she knowingly took a gun for her boyfriend, hid it from police, intending to give it back to him."

"The reason she made a mistake is because there are no consequences for these gun crimes," Larson said, asking for a year in prison for Anderson.

"I don't want to upend her life or tear apart her family. But I don't want Tywone Mitchell to get out of jail, be handed a gun and go out and commit these crimes," he said.

Lee called the prison recommendation "outlandish" given that Anderson had pleaded guilty, had only one prior juvenile adjudication in her past, and is working two jobs to support her three children.

Webber agreed that Anderson was unlikely to commit another similar crime but said her intention to return the gun to Mitchell was of "deep concern to the court."

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uncle freddy wrote on January 12, 2018 at 8:01 pm

This would be a tough one for a judge.  Who wants to see a child lose their mother?  It always pains me to see how many children seem to have little or no contact with their father, nevermind financial support.  What perpetuates this line of thinking that having sex with someone who has no job and or shown any responsibility would make a good partner to create a child with?  I feel sorry for her children as we might be reading about them in 15-20 years as the cycle continues.

rsp wrote on January 12, 2018 at 8:01 pm

What perpetuates this line of thinking that having sex with someone who has no job and or shown any responsibility would make a good partner to create a child with?

You assume the intention was to create a child. It most likely wasn't. Given the fact that her mother is also charged with going to retrieve the gun, I would suggest she hasn't recieved very good guidance of what love is and isn't.

billbtri5 wrote on January 13, 2018 at 7:01 am

another clear message of what will happen if you violate gun laws in Champaign County....nothing....

kudos to Mr. Larsen for pointing that out.. 



Khristine wrote on January 13, 2018 at 8:01 pm
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I’m all for punishing criminals, but it sounds like the Court seems to believe they’ve given this young woman a real sweet deal with 90 days home confinement. Compared to jail it probably is, but it’s also going to cause the loss of two part time jobs, no income and the inability of the mother of three to provide for those small children. It will come as no surprise to me when she breaks the home confinement rules and has just as reasonable of a reason as she had for not paying $100. for a drug test and instead paid her rent. This crime was stupidity and the punishment is as well.