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URBANA — A Champaign woman who brought a phone to jail while visiting her son and initiated Facebook Live conversations on it has been sentenced to three years of probation for bringing contraband into a penal institution.

Gladys Matthews, 47, who listed an address in the 400 block of East Vine Street, pleaded guilty to that offense in September, about a month after being charged with the crime.

She admitted that on June 19, she smuggled a cellphone into the Juvenile Detention Center in Urbana while there to visit her 17-year-old son, Devon Miles. He’s now serving a prison sentence for shooting a gun at a car with people in it in February.

While at the facility, she initiated a Facebook Live post that included another teen brandishing what appeared to be a gun.

In exchange for Matthews’ guilty plea, a second count alleging that she brought her cellphone back to the detention center July 17 and did the same thing was dismissed.

Judge Tom Difanis imposed the probation sentence Monday. Bringing contraband into a penal institution is a Class 1 felony with penalties that range from probation to four to 15 years in prison.

Matthews was also sentenced to 19 days in jail but given credit for time served.

Court records show that Matthews had prior convictions from 1996 for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and from 2000 for criminal damage to property.


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).