Probation 'last chance' for Quincy man who pleaded guilty to pot charge

Karoy Smith
Posted: Jan. 2, 2013 7:01 pm Updated: Jan. 16, 2013 7:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

A Quincy man on Wednesday was given what Judge Robert Adrian called "his last chance."

Karoy Smith, 30, received 30 months of probation on a felony drug possession charge primarily so that he could care for his children.

Smith entered a guilty plea to a Class 4 felony count of possession of between 30 and 500 grams of cannabis Oct. 24. He was originally facing a Class 3 felony charge of manufacture/delivery of between 30 and 500 grams of cannabis. As a part of his plea agreement, Smith agreed to a cap of no more than 2 1/2 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was eligible for up to six years in prison without the plea arrangement.

Adams County Assistant State's Attorney Josh Jones said the state's attorney's office reluctantly agreed to place Smith on probation so that he could care for two children he has full custody of and a third whom he supports through child support payments.

"The state is very hesitantly and reluctantly asking the court to place Mr. Smith on probation," Jones said. "If he doesn't toe the line, our office will not be giving him any more leeway. If he continues down this path of self-destruction, he can figure out what will happen."

Smith was found with 50.8 grams of cannabis when he was arrested during an incident May 14.

Smith asked Adrian for leniency. He said he wanted to remain free so that he could care for this children and be a father to them. He said his father was never a part of his life and didn't want the same for his children.

"I'm getting too old for this," Smith said. "I am throwing myself on the mercy of the court."

Because the probation department, the state's attorney's office and Smith's attorney, Public Defender Brett Jansen, all requested probation for Smith, Adrian went along with their recommendation.

"This is a very close case," Adrian said. "In a lot of situations you would be going to the Department of Corrections."

This will be Smith's second time on probation. He also received probation in a 2006 felony drug case. He received 24 months of probation, 120 days of periodic imprisonment in the Adams County Jail, 30 days of electronic monitoring and 30 hours of public service as part of a plea agreement on a Class 4 felony charge of manufacture/delivery of between 10 and 30 grams of cannabis. He was sentenced to 21 months in the DOC in a 2003 case, when he pleaded guilty to a Class 4 charge of criminal damage to government property.

In addition to the probation in the most recent case, Adrian ordered that Smith undergo drug counseling, find employment and serve 180 days in the Adams County Jail. He will serve 30 of those days consecutively starting at 5 p.m. Friday. The rest of his county jail time will be stayed while he is on probation. Smith must also pay $2,892 in fines and court costs.