Mt. Vernon man’s motion to withdraw guilty plea denied

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 42-year-old Mt. Vernon man sentenced to 14-years in prison for manufacturing meth will not be able to withdraw his guilty plea after a recent court ruling.

John Payne
(Source: IDOC)

John E. Payne pleaded guilty in May 2016 to a Class X felony charge of manufacturing between 15 a 100 grams of methamphetamine, which is punishable by between 6 and 30 years in prison.

Payne later filed a motion seeking withdraw his guilty plea claiming that while held in the Jefferson County Jail he was not provided with the medications Prozac and Depacote, which he takes for “severe depression and anxiety.”

In his motion Payne further claimed that since his disorders were left untreated while in jail, he was confused over the sentencing guidelines in his case, the amount of drugs he was alleged to have possessed, his criminal record, and the anticipated testimony of two potential witnesses.

But Judge Jo Beth Weber denied that motion last week and Payne was remanded into the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The meth charge Payne pleaded guilty to had been reduced from a more serious Class X felony of manufacturing more than 900 grams of meth, which would have required he serve 85 percent of his sentence. With the lesser charge, Payne only has to serve half of his 14-year sentence with good behavior.