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URBANA — A former Champaign County sheriff’s deputy who admitted he drove while drunk has been sentenced to two years of court supervision.

If Norman “J.R.” Meeker, 52, of St. Joseph successfully completes the terms of his sentence for the misdemeanor offense, no conviction will enter on his record.

Meeker pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge Adam Dill to driving under the influence on Aug. 15 when he was off duty.

His plea agreement was negotiated by Kate Kurtz of the Illinois State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor Office and Champaign attorney Mark Lipton.

Because Meeker was a county employee at the time of his arrest and a potential witness in criminal cases, State’s Attorney Julia Rietz asked for an outside prosecutor.

Kurtz told Dill that Mahomet police had been called about 1 a.m. that Sunday to a rollover accident on South Lake of the Woods Road at the Interstate 74 overpass.

They found a pickup truck on its roof in the middle of the road that had apparently struck the end of a guard rail and rolled over. Meeker was eventually located nearby.

Although he was not apparently injured, he was taken to the hospital to be evaluated and given a notice to appear in court.

Kurtz said there were witnesses who said Meeker had bloodshot, glassy eyes, was having difficulty walking and had been seen drinking beer earlier.

He refused a breath test, according to court records, and had his license suspended.

Meeker retired from the sheriff’s office as a sergeant in good standing, effective Sept. 10, about three weeks after his arrest. He had been with the department for 24 years.

In court Thursday, Lipton told the judge that Meeker has already received his alcohol evaluation, completed his alcohol risk education, and attended a victim impact panel.

As a condition of his sentence, he is not allowed to consume alcohol or drugs.


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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