Decatur serial thief beyond rehabilitation, prosecutor says | public safety

DECATUR — A judge has told an aging serial thief and career criminal that it’s high time he found a new way to earn a living by sentencing the Decatur man to 12 years in prison on Monday.

Charles M. Anderson, 57, appeared in Macon County Circuit Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to a robbery charge. His plea was part of a deal negotiated by defense attorney Jacqueline Hollis-George that saw other charges of armed robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated bodily harm dismissed.

The 12-year sentence was the maximum sentence allowed under the agreement and was imposed by Judge Jeffrey Geisler who said Anderson was beyond hope of redemption and should be jailed to protect the public.

“You’ve come of age and it’s definitely time to stop doing things like that,” Geisler told the defendant, referring to his crimes.

Anderson was arrested after a series of violent robberies at knifepoint that began Dec. 8, 2021, at Tracy’s Salon, 1489 W. King St., and continued throughout that month. Anderson robbed a customer outside the Walmart store at 4224 N. Prospect Dr. and left an employee with a bleeding head wound after robbing the Dollar General store at 969 W. Eldorado St.

A sworn Decatur police affidavit said Anderson was eventually arrested on December 17 by Springfield police using information released by Decatur detectives. Springfield cops chased Anderson after he robbed and injured a woman Dec. 15 outside a post office in that city.

Anderson apologized to the court and said he had nothing to offer in his own defense except to say he had a serious drug addiction problem.

Macon County Assistant State’s Attorney David Perry, who said Anderson truly deserves more than 12 years, noted the defendant’s long history of crimes, which includes robbery, armed robbery , burglary and discharge of a firearm. He has already served several prison terms of up to 18 years.

“The court must strike a balance between rehabilitation and protecting the public,” Perry said. “Obviously he’s someone who is 57 and well beyond rehabilitation at this point.”

Hollis-George had pleaded for a six-year sentence, but Geisler agreed to his request that Anderson be recommended for drug treatment while incarcerated.

“I hope it will have an effect,” the judge told him.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid