Urbana man to be sentenced after pleading guilty

By Nick Walton - [email protected]

An Urbana man accused of thefts is set to be sentenced Thursday after he pleaded guilty to charges in two criminal cases.

William F. Johnson, 53, of 4071 S. U.S. Route 68, pleaded guilty to seven charges including six felony offenses Monday.

Less than a week after he was indicted for alleged conduct last month, Johnson pleaded guilty to a third degree felony attempted burglary charge, a fourth degree carrying a concealed weapon charge and three fifth degree felony breaking and entering charges. Eleven other charges were dismissed.

On Oct. 4, Urbana police investigated an attempted burglary to an apartment in the 200 block on North Main Street around 12:39 a.m.

According to a resident there, residents may have frightened off a burglar when they hollered that they were notifying police. Police found where an attempt was made to pry open the door to the apartment but were unable to locate anyone in the area.

Less than an hour later, Urbana police Sgt. Dave Reese observed a suspicious person with a backpack walking in the area with a hood covering his face. Reese began to follow the man on foot and found him at the rear of the VFW building on East Court Street. Reese reported that when he identified himself and called out to him, the suspect began running.

After a chase through neighborhood yards, Reese captured the man after spraying him with chemical spray when he refused to follow Reese’s verbal command to show his hands.

The man was identified as Johnson. He reportedly had property belonging to Bill’s Enchanted Florist and Gifts, 221 N. Main St., and Mayflowers Chinese Restaurant, 225 N. Main St. Johnson also possessed criminal tools used for burglaries as well as several knives.

Police checked and found both businesses had been broken into and had property stolen. Police recovered the property.

The grand jury indictment contends Johnson also trespassed in Davis Appraisals, 117 E. Court St., in an attempt to commit a theft offense.

In a separate case, Johnson also pleaded guilty a fourth degree felony safecracking charge and a misdemeanor petty theft charge stemming from a June 1 incident.

A Champaign County Sheriff’s Office court statement filed in the Champaign County Municipal Court states deputies responded to the Grace Baptist Church, 960 Children’s Home Road, on June 1 after the church was broken into overnight. The statement notes a glass door was smashed, a fire extinguisher was removed and a window screen was ripped out. A lock box containing $100 was also removed.

After evidence collected from the scene was returned from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a search warrant was obtained to collect a DNA sample from Johnson and was executed on June 30. Following further processing, law enforcement determined the DNA collected from the scene was a positive match to Johnson.

By Nick Walton

[email protected]

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

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