Last week a Pekin woman refused to accept a plea agreement in a meth case that threatened to imprison her for at least six years. No more deals would be offered, her prosecutor said, and a trial date was set.
Angelina Butts-Banks changed her mind, her prosecutor relented, and on Tuesday she held her infant child and tearfully hugged family members before she was led away to begin a four-year term.
Butts-Banks, 26, pleaded guilty to manufacturing 70 grams of liquid meth in a Mineral Springs Motel room last April. She was five months pregnant at the time.
She received the minimum sentence after her charge was reduced from the more serious Class X level. Her prosecutor noted that Butts-Banks had never been charged with a crime before. She’ll serve about two years of her term with good behavior.
Volatile chemicals used in making meth endangered other occupants of the motel, according to the charge. Their odor also led the motel’s manager to Butts-Banks’ room, where he found her and two men.
After she checked out the next day, a maid discovered two mason jars under the room’s bed, one of which contained the meth that had not yet been distilled into its powdered form.
Among the two men, Joshua Hunt, 27, of East Peoria, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison last July and Tristan Smith, 26, of Pekin, received a four-year probation term in November, both for possessing over-the-counter cold medicine that contains meth’s key ingredient.
Smith, however, was charged with violating his probation a month later, and in January was charged with aggravated domestic battery. Now in custody, he’s next due in court on Feb. 21.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin