High speed pursuit driver sent to prison


A man who led law enforcement on chases over multiple days was sent to prison after pleading guilty to charges Wednesday.

Cody A. Spellman, 21, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer and resisting arrest charges.

Spellman was taken into custody on Jan. 11 after a pursuit that occurred over two days.

On Jan. 9, Champaign County deputies responded to the area of Urbana Woodstock Pike in reference to a reckless operation of a vehicle complaint. Deputies were advised that Spellman was the driver of the vehicle and he was driving through fields in the area.

Deputies were advised that he had crashed the vehicle and was walking in the area and that he had an active warrant for his arrest out of Union County for failure to appear in court for a theft.

Deputies found Spellman walking down the road. As a deputy attempted to arrest him, Spellman resisted causing both to fall to the ground.

Spellman broke free and ran into the woods after jumping over a fence.

Prior to his arrest on Jan. 11, Spellman was observed driving a vehicle and led law enforcement officials on a pursuit of the vehicle when he refused to stop during an attempted traffic stop. Court documents detailing the sentencing hearing note Spellman reached speeds of 115 miles per hour during the chase, weaving in and out of traffic and passing multiple vehicles on a roadway covered in ice and snow.

The vehicle was found unoccupied in the front yard of 2789 N. state Route 560 after Spellman reportedly lost control and struck a tree, causing significant damage to the vehicle which eventually caught on fire.

Spellman fled on foot through fields before he was located inside a parked RV.

Spellman’s conduct took place while he was under community control supervision. In December 2013, Spellman was placed on community control for two years after pleading guilty to a felony breaking and entering charge. The community control period was extended in April 2015 for an additional two years to December 22, 2017.

While Spellman’s sentence for the chase was three years in prison, the court imposed a one-year sentence for revoking community control, leading to the total four-year sentence.

In addition to the prison sentence, Spellman was fined $400 and is subject to a mandatory driver’s license suspension for 10 years upon his release from prison. Upon his release, Spellman is also subject to post-release control for a period of up to three years.

Two men sent to prison on drug charges

Co-defendants in two drug offense cases received prison sentences this week.

Shawn M. Blackburn and Josiah D. Thrasher were sent to prison for more than two-and-a-half years during sentencing hearings held on Monday.

The two men were indicted in February following an investigation by the Urbana Police Division. On Jan. 24, police were investigating a disturbance over a reported theft of drugs case when two men being interviewed experienced medical issues.

Using information gathered from the interview with the two men, police sought a search warrant for Cecil R. Farmer’s residence at 127 1/2 N. Main St. During their search, police recovered evidence of methamphetamine and prescription pills inside the residence.

The grand jury indictment contends that Farmer provided methamphetamine to the co-defendants.

Court documents detail the co-defendants’ involvement together relating to drug use and continued contact with each other despite court orders against having contact with each other.

Blackburn, 24, pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of drugs and possession of heroin in addition to a possession of heroin charge from a 2015 case in which Thrasher was a co-defendant. He received a total sentence of 32 months in prison.

Thrasher, 24, pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of drugs and possession of heroin in addition to theft of drugs and possession of heroin in the 2015 case. He received a total sentence of 30 months in prison.

Both co-defendants were fined $750 and are subject to post-release control up to three years upon their release.


By Nick Walton

[email protected]

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

No posts to display