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BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday for hitting a Walmart worker during a 2015 dispute at the Normal store.

Jeffrey Martin started the sentencing hearing by firing his public defender, Ron Lewis, and insisting he would represent himself as he had done at a December trial on the aggravated battery charges. After the trial, Martin said he wanted a lawyer for the sentencing phase of the case.

Martin, 52, then spent the majority of a three-hour hearing commenting on a pre-sentence investigation report. The defendant took issue with statements in the report related to his education and his mental health.

"It reflects I'm a psycho ... I'm very intelligent, according to my doctors," Martin told Judge Scott Drazewski.

Assistant State's Attorney Kristin Alferink asked for seven years, the maximum term for which Martin was eligible.

In imposing the sentence, the judge cited Martin's 17 previous felony convictions, including several violent offenses. The prison term will be served consecutive to the sentence Martin currently is serving for a 2014 aggravated battery.

Martin faces more serious charges related two separate incidents in 2016.

A 13-count indictment alleging possession of child pornography and a second case alleging sexual assault are pending.

Over Martin's objections, Drazewski set an April 9 trial on the sexual assault charges — a case the defendant intends to handle on his own with Lewis serving as stand-by counsel. Martin asked for more time to prepare for trial.

The state served Martin with a no-contact order Thursday that bars him from contacting the alleged victim in the sexual assault case.

At a hearing Wednesday, Lewis challenged a Normal police search warrant used to seize a computer in the child pornography case. Lewis argued that the search was unconstitutional because the detective provided a judge with inaccurate information on the application for a warrant.

Drazewski said he will issue a ruling next week on the defense motion to suppress evidence from the computer.

Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny


McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.

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