Two men accused of breaking into golf courses in three counties pleaded guilty this week to charges for their conduct in Champaign County.
Co-defendants Joshua R. Blakely, 18, and Skyler L. Reisinger, 19, pleaded guilty to four fifth degree felony breaking and entering charges and one third degree felony grand theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance charge during separate final pretrial conferences held on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Felony charges of safecracking, receiving stolen property, theft and possessing criminal tools were dismissed against the co-defendants.
The charges stem from multiple break-ins at Champaign County golf courses between Aug. 15 and Sept. 7.
A sentencing hearing for Blakely is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2017, while a sentencing hearing for Reisinger is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2017.
During the hearings, Judge Nick Selvaggio informed the co-defendants that the grand theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance charge has a presumption in favor of the court imposing a prison term for the offense. If a prison sentence is imposed, the offender would be ordered to serve that prison term consecutively to any other prison term or mandatory prison term previously or subsequently imposed upon them.
The grand jury indictment contends this charge stems from the Aug. 20 theft of a Mossberg .410 pump-action shotgun from Lakeland Golf Course.
Both co-defendants face a maximum consecutive sentence of 84 months in prison and a $20,000 fine.
In addition to Champaign County, both co-defendants have been indicted for similar conduct at golf courses in Logan and Clark counties.
The co-defendants were initially caught in Logan County after law enforcement responded to check Liberty Hills Golf Club overnight on Sept. 7 following an alarm drop at Cherokee Hills Golf Course on the same day.
Upon speaking with the co-defendants, law enforcement reports, it was learned the two started sneaking into the Urbana Country Club months ago and continued to break into other golf courses.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.