By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man is heading back to the Illinois Department of Corrections for 4 1/2 years after being sentenced Wednesday morning on a methamphetamine charge.
Steven W. Murry, 53, was facing up to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty in October to a Class 2 felony charge of disposal of meth manufacturing waste. Considering Murry's lengthy prior record, which included felony convictions for drug, theft and violent offenses, Judge Scott Walden bypassed Murry's plea for probation and sent him back to prison.
Murry originally was facing a Class X felony charge of aggravated meth manufacturing. Members of the West Central Illinois Task Force, Adams County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police Meth Response Team arrested Murry after a search of a house in the 600 block of Elm the evening of June 13. Officers reported that they found meth and numerous items used to make meth after executing a search warrant of the residence.
Murry's wife, Kasey, was also arrested as a result of the investigation. Kasey Murry, 29, pleaded guilty in October to a charge of unlawful possession of meth precursors. She was sentenced on Monday to 30 months probation and 180 days of periodic imprisonment in the Adams County Jail. She was given credit for 91 days served and had the rest of the time stayed.
Steven Murry's diverse list of prior convictions, several of which resulted in time in the DOC, worked against him.
"He has run the gamut as far as his criminal record is concerned," said First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha, who asked Walden to give Murry a sentence of up to five years in the DOC.
Murry's attorney, Public Defender Todd Nelson, said that Murry deserved probation, too. He said Murry had health issues that would be further complicated with a stay in the state prison.
Murry, sporting a silver mohawk, also tried to sway Walden. He admitted what he did was wrong.
"I just want to get on with my life and turn it around," Murry said.
Walden admonished Murry for "dumping a bunch of this stuff in your backyard. At the time you were smoking meth three times a week and dumping, you were trying to get things right with your 9-year-old daughter."
Walden said he couldn't give Murry probation and fell just shy of giving the prosecution the sentence length it had requested.
Near the end of the hearing, Walden reminded Murry that if he were to be convicted on another meth-related charge after his release that Murry wouldn't be eligible for probation and could face up to 10 years in the DOC. Walden also told Murry it might be time to change his behavior now that Murry is getting older.
"What this (case) shows is that meth knows no age limits," Walden said.