PC Sanders gun plea

Markell Sanders, 19, of Champaign, sentenced Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, to 3.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful use of weapons by a felon stemming from a May 19 traffic stop in Champaign.

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URBANA — A Champaign man who had a loaded gun in a car earlier this year has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison.

Markell Sanders, 19, who listed an address in the 1100 block of Joanne Lane, pleaded guilty Monday before Judge Heidi Ladd to unlawful use of weapons by a felon.

Sanders was a passenger in a car stopped by Champaign police May 19 for alleged traffic violations.

Smelling cannabis, police searched the car and found loaded guns on Sanders and co-defendant Jamar Holbrook, 21, who in August pleaded guilty to the same offense for the same sentence.

In exchange for Sanders’ guilty plea, other charges of aggravated unlawful use of weapons and possession of a gun without a firearm owner’s identification card were dismissed.

Court records show Sanders had prior juvenile adjudications for aggravated unlawful use of weapons, residential burglary, resisting a peace officer and aggravated battery.

He was given credit on his sentence for 141 days already served.


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).