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URBANA — A Champaign 18-year-old who pleaded guilty to having a loaded gun and drugs on him has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

However, if Seth Taylor, who pleaded guilty under the Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction Act, successfully completes his indeterminate sentence in juvenile prison and succeeds on parole after that, he will not have to serve the entire 15 years. If a judge finds that he violated his parole, he will have to serve the whole sentence in adult prison.

Taylor pleaded guilty Monday before juvenile Judge Anna Benjamin to armed violence, a Class X felony, admitting that he had a handgun at the same time he had cocaine in a car that Champaign police stopped April 12 on Harris Avenue.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brooke Hinman said police were sent there for a report of a suspicious vehicle and found another teen driving and Taylor in the passenger seat. The car smelled of cannabis. Police searched and found a drawstring bag containing the loaded gun at Taylor’s feet. Also found in the bag were several pieces of identification with Taylor’s name on them, about 10 grams of cocaine, a small amount of cannabis, $2,214 cash and a scale.

Taylor was initially charged as a juvenile but turned 18 about a month after his arrest, so Hinman and Taylor’s attorney agreed to work out the case under the combination juvenile-adult court program.

The driver, Kyren Darnell, 18, of Urbana, pleaded guilty in late May to aggravated unlawful possession of a weapon, a Class 4 felony, also under the Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction Act.

He’s expected to be sentenced to juvenile prison on June 27 and faces the same circumstances as Taylor.

If he completes his juvenile sentence and parole successfully, the sentence is discharged. If he doesn’t and is found by a judge to have violated his parole, he faces up to three years in adult prison.

Hinman said neither teen had any prior adjudications.

Reporter

Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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