By WILL BRUMLEVE
The Paxton Record
PAXTON — A Paxton man was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty Monday in Ford County Circuit Court to one count of intimidation of a witness.
Michael L. Widmer, 46, of Paxton pleaded guilty to the Class 3 felony as part of a plea deal negotiated between his attorney, Mike Zopf of Champaign, and special prosecutor Ed Parkinson. A second felony charge, unlawful communication with a witness, was dismissed.
Widmer remained at the Ford County Jail late Monday afternoon awaiting transfer to the Department of Corrections.
Widmer was given credit for 105 days served at the Ford County Jail, according to his sentencing order. The 105 days of credit included two jail stints that Widmer served in 2012 in connection with two other pending criminal cases.
Widmer has been ordered to appear in court for a pretrial hearing for both of the other cases on April 24, according to the circuit clerk's office.
The intimidation charge Widmer pleaded guilty to stemmed from accusations that in May 2011, Widmer threatened to harm a Paxton resident who told police that she saw Widmer driving his truck while his license was revoked. After Widmer was arrested for driving on a revoked license and then posted bond, Widmer contacted the resident and told her he would call the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and report that she "beats her children," the charges stated.
Widmer was later charged in February with cyberstalking, a Class 4 felony, for allegedly posting threatening messages on the Internet that were directed toward the same woman.
In March, Widmer was then charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, after police received a call from someone who said Widmer had a gun at his residence in Paxton.
Meanwhile, in Iroquois County, a petition has been filed by State's Attorney Jim Devine seeking to revoke the conditional discharge Widmer received after pleading guilty in 2010 to obstructing justice and fleeing police in that county. A status hearing for that case is set for April 19.