CLINTON — Clinton County District Court Judge Joel Barrows granted a Morrison, Illinois, man a suspended sentence of incarceration despite a “stunning lack of compliance” with the preparation of a pre-sentence investigation report.
Brent A. Ogburn, 40, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for felon in possession of a firearm, a Class D felony, and possession of methamphetamine, a serious misdemeanor. Sentencing was originally set for Nov. 2 and was continued due to Ogburn not participating in preparation of the PSI report. District Court Judge Mark Lawson on Nov. 2 ordered Ogburn’s pre-trial release with supervision be revoked. Lawson ordered Ogburn to be committed to the Clinton County Jail to participate in the preparation of the report. Sentencing was continued to Thursday.
Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers stated it was a difficult case after reading the PSI. She stated Ogburn does have insight regarding the reason why he was before the court. She also cited his positive work history. Myers expressed concern with Ogburn’s difficulty with complying with the terms of pre-trial release. She stated there were “a lot of factors” and left it up to the discretion of the court whether to order incarceration or grant Ogburn probation.
Defense attorney Harold DeLange said he agreed Ogburn struggled with pre-trial release. He stated it was a strange and troubling case and stated he did not know why the court would believe Ogburn could comply with the terms of probation if the court did not order incarceration. DeLange stated Ogburn did successfully complete probation on a misdemeanor charge two or three years ago. DeLange cited Ogburn’s drug use and what he believes is underlying depression issues. He stated he was surprised by the recommendation contained in the PSI.
Ogburn stated he was focusing on trying to get his children back instead of his own freedom, adding he meant no disrespect to the court. He said he was “overwhelmed and lost” and was taking the charges seriously.
“I lost my job and my means to survive,” Ogburn said. “Everything I worked hard to achieve came crumbling down. I’m taking it very seriously.”
Barrows was concerned with Ogburn’s ability to comply with probation going forward. He found it significant the probation officer who prepared the report still recommended probation, stating she “must see some capacity to comply.” He added the State was generous in deferring its recommendation to the discretion of the court.
Barrows stated “perhaps against my better judgement,” a sentence of incarceration not to exceed five years was suspended on the charge of felon in possession of a firearm. A $750 fine was suspended. He was placed on probation for three years. Barrows suspended a 180-day sentence in the Clinton County Jail for possession of methamphetamine. He was placed on probation for one year. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Charges of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, first offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed at sentencing.
Barrows ordered Ogburn to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and mental health evaluation and follow through with any recommended treatment and maintain employment as terms of probation. Barrows cited Ogburn’s criminal history and concern over his conduct on supervision as reasons for the sentence. “We all want to see you succeed here,” Barrows said. “Your behavior on release is puzzling to me. You’ll have a short leash because of your behavior on probation.”