By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man facing felony charges in three separate cases was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison in one case and received probation in the other two cases.
Judge William Mays ordered the unusual sentence for Richard "Kent" Breder, 53. Breder pleaded guilty Aug. 23 to unlawful participation in methamphetamine production, unlawful possession of meth and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (heroin). Since those were Breder's first felony convictions, Mays went through with a sentence of 30 months of probation on the two meth charges and ordered a prison sentence on the controlled substance charge.
The sentences will run consecutively, meaning Breder will serve two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections before starting probation in the other two cases. He was facing a sentencing cap of eight years on all three cases.
"I have trouble trusting you," Mays told Breder before Wednesday's sentencing.
Mays said he didn't have a problem with probation for the first two felonies because those were Breder's first felony convictions.
But "I can't put you on probation for the third offense," the judge said. "Too much happened in the middle."
Breder's first arrest came June 21, 2012, after an investigation by the West Central Illinois Task Force. Breder gave officers permission to search his property in rural Quincy, where they found items associated with the manufacture of meth in a burn pit outside the house. Adams County First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha said Breder had purchased pseudoephedrine pills 27 times from 2010 to his arrest.
Breder was out on bond when he was arrested again Aug. 17, 2012. Task force officers used a confidential source to set up a controlled buy with Breder. Farha said the source gave Breder pills in exchange for a plastic bag containing a substance that field-tested positive for meth.
He was arrested a third time May 16 while still out on bond in the other cases when task force officers with a warrant searched Breder's residence at 603 E. 575th Place in rural Quincy. Farha said officers found a substance in Breder's living room that field-tested positive for heroin. Farha said Breder admitted to officers that he had used heroin the previous day.
Breder's attorney, Gerald Timmerwilke, had Breder's mother and daughter testify on his behalf at the 75-minute hearing. Breder also took the stand. He said his life started to go downhill after he had a heart attack and his second wife divorced him in 2009.
Breder, who was convicted of four DUIs while living in Texas from 1982 through 1991, said he turned to alcohol after his divorce. He said he got involved in meth after reuniting with some old friends.
"I started playing with it, and one thing led to another," Breder said. "It was a snowball effect. It cost me everything."
Breder said he was more addicted to making meth than he was using it. He said he would sell some of the meth that he cooked to help pay rent. He sought treatment after his arrests last year and went through nearly 60 days of inpatient therapy.
His last arrest came after he said a family member came over with 5 ounces of crystal meth and some hookers earlier this year.
"I slipped and fell on the ice," Breder said.
Farha asked Mays to sentence Breder to prison in all three cases and sought the eight-year maximum allowed under the plea agreement.
"Mr. Breder is facing a cap of eight years in prison, which is one year more than the minimum," Farha said. "That is a tremendous break considering his situation. The need to deter others from doing the same things is overwhelming. It screams of a sentence to the Department of Corrections."
Timmerwilke asked for probation, saying Breder would even be willing to do home confinement if it meant staying out of prison.
"He has a plan to try to get back into the workforce," Timmerwilke said. "He has a plan (for addiction), and it's working. We are asking the court not to give up on this man at this point in time."
Breder has been lodged in the Adams County Jail since his May arrest in lieu of $75,000 bond. He will be given credit for 167 days served.