URBANA — A Champaign County jail inmate who allegedly tried to bribe a witness in his criminal case not to testify has been criminally charged.
Jordan U. Johnson, 22, who listed an address in the 1000 block of North James Street, Champaign, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of attempted bribery, a felony, and misdemeanor attempted communication with a witness.
A police report from jail officials said that on Jan. 28, Johnson, who's being held on a number of charges including criminal trespass to residence, wrote a letter to a woman telling her to contact the witness in the trespass case and have the witness write a note saying she would not come to court to testify against Johnson. The letter instructed the third party to have the witness write that it "was a big misunderstanding and she's not pressing any charges. Tell her you will pay if you need to. Don't take no for an answer."
The letter was intercepted by jail staff after it had been put in an envelope addressed to the third party, with Johnson's name in the return address.
He was arraigned Tuesday on the new charges, which are in addition to other charges already on file that include the criminal trespass to residence, a petition to revoke in a criminal trespass case, residential burglary and aggravated unlawful use of weapons.
Judge Richard Klaus ordered Johnson to be back in court March 5 on all the cases. His bond is set at a total of $345,000.
If convicted of the attempted bribery, a Class 3 felony, any sentence would have to be served after any sentence he might receive if convicted of the other crimes.