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URBANA — A Champaign man who pleaded guilty to having drugs in two separate cases has been sentenced to a total of six years in prison.

Stephon Booker, 51, whose last known address was in the 1400 block of Kenwood Road, pleaded guilty in March before Judge Ronda Holliman to possession of a controlled substance in two cases and resisting a peace officer in one of those.

He admitted that on June 8, 2021, he had crack cocaine on him when police found him in a car near Fifth and Park streets in Champaign, suffering from what appeared to be a medical issue.

In the other case, he admitted having less than 15 grams of heroin on him on June 14.

Champaign police found the heroin when Booker was arrested for allegedly driving his car into a woman he knew on Paula Drive, injuring her. He also refused to cooperate with police who were investigating that incident, resulting in an officer using pepper spray on him.

Charges related to him hitting the woman with a car were dismissed in return for his guilty plea to heroin possession and resisting police.

In early March, Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Bucher had started a jury trial before Holliman on the aggravated-battery charges, but the woman Bucher needed to prove the allegations did not show up to testify at the time she’d been given.

Bucher said that’s when he decided to enter into a plea that would resolve Booker’s two pending cases.

On Tuesday, Holliman sentenced Booker to four years in prison on the case that happened June 8 and two years on the June 14 case, with the sentences to be served one after the other.

Bucher had hoped that the woman who had been hit by the car would testify Tuesday to aggravate Booker’s sentence, but she appeared at the courthouse on Wednesday instead.

Bucher had urged Holliman to sentence Booker to five years on each of the two controlled-substance convictions.

Court records show he had previous convictions for robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated battery to a peace officer, domestic battery, obstructing justice and battery.

He was given credit on his sentence for 331 days served.


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

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