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BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois Department of Corrections has turned down a judge's recommendation to allow a Manito man to serve his prison term for aggravated drunken driving in the state's impact incarceration, or boot camp, program.

In December, Judge William Yoder sentenced Meyer to four years in prison but a recommendation for the IDOC boot camp program could have meant Meyer would be released within six months.

Defense lawyer Kevin Sullivan said Thursday that he has filed a motion asking the judge to modify the sentence in light of the IDOC decision. Sullivan had strong words Thursday for state prison officials who denied the judge's recommendation.

"The personnel of the DOC have made an unreasonable, arbitrary decision in this case," that amounted to second-guessing the judge, said Sullivan.

Yoder found the defendant eligible for the program that puts young male offenders in a physically challenging and regimented program lasting several months. "The judge is in the best position to tailor a sentence," said Sullivan.

The state's Code of Corrections allows the court to recommend an offender for placement in the impact incarceration program but the placement is conditioned upon the inmate's acceptance in the program by the Illinois Department of Corrections, said IDOC spokesperson Lindsey Hess.

"In determining program approval, the department may consider, among other matters, criminal history, safety and security of any person or the facility, and disciplinary record," said Hess.

After the December sentencing hearing, the victim's mother, Rosemary Line, was critical of the boot camp recommendation, calling the months-long sentence "nothing."

State's Attorney Don Knapp said his office supported an eight-year prison sentence for the driver.

Mayer's supporters provided a large number of letters to the judge detailing his volunteer work and completion of substance abuse counseling.


Photos: 2018-19 McLean County jail mug shots

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

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McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.

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