Davis heading back to jail

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

Marilyn Davis, 75, who has served nearly two years of a four-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections was in court with her Public Defender Clarence "Mike" Darrow, making a plea to reduce the sentence she is currently serving for stealing up to $100,000 from the Village of Sherrard, between 2003 and 2008.

Darrow made an impassioned plea on Davis' behalf, pointing to her decline since her incarceration. She entered the courtroom in a wheel chair. Darrow pointed out that she really had imposed her own sentence upon the discovery by law enforcement of the disappeared money from the Village of Sherrard. "She imprisoned herself at home," he said. The time frame of that self-imposed isolation was from July 2008 until 12 to 13 months later when she was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for four years.

"From September 2009 to January 2010 she was in the infirmary at Dwight," said Darrow.

He pointed out that the $22,000 a year cost of keeping a prisoner in the DOC had been much higher in Davis's case, because of her medical complications.

Darrow listed out her issues including rheumatoid arthritis that is being treated with chemo-therapy; osteoporosis, COPD, and high blood pressure. She also has become blind in her left eye, had a case of shingles. "She suffers from severe shame and remorse towards the community of Sherrard and to the court," said Darrow.

States Attorney Greg McHugh pointed to the long-term theft that Davis had, from 2003 to 2008. "Back in September the sentence was tragic. But it was because of what Marilyn Davis did and nothing else."

He said the state and defense came to a plea agreement in this case, which would give Davis the shortest sentence possible for the crime she did. "It was because of the amount of money taken and the need to stop others from doing the same thing," McHugh said. He said the state had been compassionate in the sentencing when it made the four-year cap. "It was more than fair for what she did," said McHugh. "She stole 10's of thousands of dollars from her friends and neighbors."