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URBANA — A 15-year-old Urbana boy convicted of having a loaded gun in a backpack was sentenced Monday to two years of probation.

Judge Tom Difanis imposed the sentence on the teen for unlawful use of weapons.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said the teen was convicted of having a loaded gun in a backpack Aug. 13 while he was with a group of boys in the parking lot of Salt & Light Ministries, 1819 S. Philo Road, U.

A concerned citizen had seen boys carrying guns and notified police. When police approached the group in the parking lot, one boy stepped forward and admitted he had a BB gun. As police were dealing with him, the 15-year-old approached the officer dealing with the youth with the BB gun.

Declining police orders to stay where he was, the 15-year-old was arrested and police found the loaded gun in his backpack.

The youth had no prior adjudications or police contacts, Rietz said.


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).