County Court Sees Shoplifting, DUI Cases

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It was a busy day in the Jefferson County Court, as Jefferson County Judge resolved a number of cases dealing with a variety of incidents from shoplifting to assault.

Three Plead Guilty To Having Sticky Fingers

Among the cases handled by Judge Bauer in County Court on Wednesday, three involved shoplifting at Wal-Mart in Fairbury. In the first case, Taylor Anderson came before Judge Bauer, where he pleaded guilty to taking a knife from Wal-Mart. When weighing her sentencing options, Judge Bauer reminded Anderson that this was the second time she has seen a case involving him.

“I’ve seen one of your cases before,” said Judge Bauer. “Am I going to regret just fining you? If you appear before me again, that will be the third time, and I’ll have no choice but to consider jail or some intensive probation.”

Judge Bauer ordered Anderson to pay a $50 fine and to pay $10.17 to Wal-Mart as restitution. Later that morning, Matthew Smith also appeared before Judge Bauer. He was also charged with shoplifting a knife from Wal-Mart.

“It was really just a stupid mistake,” said Smith, after pleading guilty to the charge.

“It really is a stupid mistake,” Judge Bauer responded. “You do realize that these stores have sophisticated surveillance methods and that you’re likely to get caught, right?”

Judge Bauer noted that this was his first offense, and ordered him to pay a $50. In a case related to Smith’s, Knathen Jedrzejewski was charged with taking an OtterBox phone case from Wal-Mart when he was with Smith.

“It was just one of those moments where I saw it and wanted it, and I was dumb enough to grab it,” said Jedrzejewski. “It has been a rough patch, but I’m getting back on track.

He pleaded guilty to the charge; however, sentencing in his case was continued because Judge Bauer wanted to investigate previous offenses Jedrzejewski committed.

“Your friend didn’t have a lengthy criminal record like you do,” Judge Bauer said. “Your prior history history is some cause for concern. I need some more information to see if you really are getting back on track or if you need help to do so.”

DUI Lands Shibley With Probation, Fines

Daniel Shibley appeared before Judge Bauer in court on Wednesday in two cases: one for driving under the influence (DUI) and having no operator’s license, the other for reckless driving. In earlier proceedings, Shibley pleaded guilty to all of the charges. However, another pending DUI case in Gage County complicated sentencing. County Attorney Jeffrey Goltz and Judge Bauer deliberated on the statute, until Judge Bauer decided to sentence Shibley to 18 months probation and issued him a $575 fine in the first case.

“I want you to make treatment a priority right now,” Judge Bauer said. “I hope I don’t have to tell you how important it is to take probation seriously. I want you to get help to turn your life around.”

Shibley agreed that he needed treatment and that he wants to make a change in his life. In the reckless driving case, Judge Bauer sentenced Shibley to 18 months probation to run concurrently with the sentence in the DUI case.

Alvarez Fails To Appear, Lucking Ordered To Pay Fine

For the second week in a row, Daniel Alvarez failed to appear for court. His attorney Joe Casson explained that he has not had any contact with Alvarez since he was appointed to the case. Judge Bauer decided to issue warrants in the two cases he was facing and set a bond at $5,000, 10 percent.

Cory Lucking appeared before Judge Bauer on Wednesday, where she faced the charge of third degree assault. The case arose from an animal complaint filed by Lucking. After an officer was on scene for a while, Lucking slammed a glass storm door, which broke, sending shard of glass flying into the officer’s face. Lucking’s attorney Joe Casson explained that Lucking was frustrated by the way the case was handled.

“This is a situation that spiraled out of control,” said Casson. “It wasn’t her intent to harm the officer. We run into cases where officers perceive something as being less important, but those involved believe the issue is of the utmost importance, and that can be frustrating for those involved. My client wanted the officer to know what was going on.”

Judge Bauer agreed with Casson that she does not believe Lucking intended to hurt the officer. However, she advised Lucking to stay in control of her behavior. Judge Bauer sentenced Lucking to pay a fine of $500.

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