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URBANA — A Champaign woman with no criminal record who admitted stealing thousands of dollars from her employer may yet escape a conviction.

Judge Tom Difanis on Tuesday sentenced Peony Colton, 31, who listed an address in the 2400 block of Sheridan Road, to two years of second-chance probation.

If she successfully completes the terms, including making $7,510 in restitution, getting mental-health and substance-abuse evaluations, performing 30 hours of public service and staying crime-free, then no conviction will be entered on her record.

Colton pleaded guilty in September to theft, a Class 3 felony, admitting that between mid-March and mid-May, while employed as an assistant store manager at Walmart in Savoy, she pocketed $7,510 from cash drawers that she carried to the office.

Assistant Public Defender Ben Dyer sought the second-chance probation sentence for Colton while Assistant State’s Attorney Troy Lozar took no position.


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).