Judge Terry Patton accepted plea deals for all three cases against William Merritt III on December 12, 2022, and remanded Merritt to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve his sentences. Merritt was scheduled for a Jury Trial on December 7, 2022, for Possession of Meth but decided to accept a plea deal on all his pending cases the day prior to his Jury Trial. The plea was scheduled for December 12, 2022, to allow time for the victim in the Aggravated Battery case to make a statement. Merritt took a plea moments before the Jury was sworn in at his Jury Trial for Theft and Property Damage on October 6, 2022.
On case 2021CF381, Merritt pleaded guilty to Possession of Meth and the State will dismiss the remaining count. Merritt was sentenced to 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), up to 1 year of Mandatory Supervised Release and fines and assessments. On Case 2021CF382, Merritt pleaded guilty to Theft <$500 and the State will dismiss the remaining three counts. Merritt was sentenced to 364 days in the Henry County Jail, he receives credit for time served and fines and assessments. On Case 2022CF191, Merritt pleaded guilty to the amended Aggravated Battery/Deadly Weapon. The charge was amended from Great Bodily Harm to Deadly Weapon to allow Merritt to receive Day for Day credit on his sentence. Merritt was sentenced to 3 years in IDOC and up to 1 year Mandatory Supervised Release. He receives Credit for time served and day for day credit. All sentences run concurrent to each other, meaning they will be served at the same time. Judge Patton found that Merritt qualifies for a waiver of all waivable assessments.
He was charged with Theft 500>10k (Class 3 Felony), Criminal Damage to Government Property 500>10K (Class 3 Felony), Theft <500 (Class A Misdemeanor) and Criminal Damage to Government Property <500 (Class 4 Felony) on case 2021CF382. Merritt was charged with Possession of Meth <5 Grams (Class 3 Felony) and Delivery of Meth <5 Grams (Class 2 Felony) for 2021CF381. The most recent charge against William Merritt III is Aggravated Battery/Greater Bodily harm (Class 3 Felony) for 2022CF191.