Adams County Assistant State's Attorney Josh Jones tried to make a point Thursday in Adams County Circuit Court.
Jones was trying to convince Judge John Wooleyhan to send a third member of the Liberty-based Midwest Percenters motorcycle club to prison for what club members did on the streets of downtown Quincy nearly two years ago.
"When you drive into Adams County, you see a welcome sign that tells you ‘Life is Good,' " Jones said. "What happened here was not just a violent crime, but an issue of quality of life for the people who live here. We don't have roaming motorcycle clubs here."
Jones then went on to quote what Timothy Jackson said when he and three others penned in two Tunnel Rats club members in the intersection of 12th and Hampshire on a sunny day that was made for a motorcycle cruise. Jones made sure all in the courtroom could hear what Jackson told the Tunnel Rats members in the heat of the moment:
"This isn't a (expletive) game."
"We'll (expletive) kill you."
"Give us your (expletive) cuts."
"This isn't supposed to happen in Quincy, but it did," Jones said.
And most of those who were responsible for wreaking havoc on the city streets that day have paid dearly, losing their freedom and the opportunity to be with their families.
Joseph E. Teel was the first domino to fall. He was found guilty of armed robbery by a jury in March 2013. Two months later, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The earliest he will be out is Sept. 10, 2025, when he is 52 years old.
Not soon after Teel's conviction, club member Zane Liggett decided to take an offer by the Adams County State's Attorney's office to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for testifying against Jackson and Gerald Utterback if their cases went to trial. Both Jackson and Utterback were found guilty of aggravated robbery in separate trials.
Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard said earlier this week that Liggett played a key role in helping law enforcement officials get to the bottom of what happened. Barnard said Liggett helped break "a conspiracy of silence."
"He has, in no small way, helped in the acquisition of justice," Barnard said of Liggett, who was sentenced to 24 months probation.
Utterback last week wound up being sentenced to prison for five years. Jackson received a six-year sentence on Thursday, the final piece of the puzzle in Quincy's short-lived version of "Sons of Anarchy."
Prosecutors said both Utterback and Jackson hope to return to the motorcycle club after their prison sentences are finished.
Jones is right. There aren't roving motorcycle gangs going up and down Broadway on a regular basis. And those signs at the county line are right, life is good around here -- not perfect, but pretty good.