By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man was sentenced to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on Monday after a jury found him guilty of four drug charges during a February trial.
Bryan D. Hill, 51, faced up to 80 years in prison after being convicted of unlawful delivery of cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful delivery of cannabis between 2.5 and 10 grams, and unlawful delivery of cannabis between 30 and 500 grams.
Judge Robert K. Adrian sentenced Hill to 12 years on the unlawful delivery of cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school charge. Hill received 10 years on the unlawful delivery of a controlled substance charge, and he got five years of DOC time on the unlawful delivery of cannabis between 30 and 500 grams. He was sentenced to 364 days in the Adams County Jail on the smallest cannabis charge. All sentences will run concurrently.
Adrian sentenced Hill before a courtroom filled with his friends and family members. At least two people in the gallery had to leave the room crying after First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha told Adrian that he could sentence Hill to up to 80 years in prison. Family members could be heard weeping throughout the half-hour hearing.
"Look at what you have done," Adrian said to Hill, who swerved around to look at the people in the gallery. "How many times have you been given a chance to take care of your problems, but didn't do it? (Members of the gallery) like you and are here to support you, and you let them all down."
Hill sold cannabis to a confidential source on Aug. 30, 2010 near 16th and Chestnut, which is within 1,000 feet of property owned by Quincy University. Hill had less than a gram of cocaine on him when he sold to a confidential source on Sept. 1, 2010. Hill made another cannabis sale to a confidential source six days later.
"There is no doubt you were selling cannabis," Adrian said.
Prior to sentencing, Hill asked Adrian for leniency.
"I've done some bad things in my life," Hill said, "but to sentence me to 80 years in prison over some weed? Come on, now. I turned myself in. My wife called me when I was working in Minnesota. I didn't have to come back to face these charges, but I did. I wasn't no dope man."
Hill has a lengthy legal history. He has prior drug convictions, which exposed him to longer sentences.
"He had a job and a good family, but he was out selling dope," Farha said. "This is a significant case and needs to be punished accordingly."
Hill's lawyer, Public Defender Brett Jansen, asked that Adrian sentence Hill on the lower end of the sentencing spectrum because of Hill's age and his family obligations.
Adrian wound up going with Farha's sentencing recommendations on each charge. Once he is released, Hill will be on mandatory supervised release for three years.
As Hill was led out of the courtroom, members of the gallery continued to cry over the decision.
It took the jury less than 25 minutes to reach a verdict after a two-day trial ended Feb. 21.
Hill was indicted by an Adams County grand jury on May 10. He posted $1,000 in bond on May 29 and had been free until his trial was over. He has been lodged at the Adams County Jail since the end of his trial.
Hill asked Adrian if he could be released to get his affairs in order before serving his prison time. Adrian denied the motion.