HILLSBORO — Monday’s preliminary hearing in Montgomery County court is resulting in yet another uneventful delay for Abigail L. Martin.
Martin, 23, with a Macoupin County address made her first appearance with new counsel, Public Defender Erin Mattson, during a videoconference setting. The call also would include State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings and Judge Don Sheafor, Jr. However, according to Judici, there isn’t too much additional details on the case since her last appearance on July 30.
Sheafor would push for an October 1 preliminary hearing, potentially due to a witness for the prosecution being unable to participate in the call.
Martin was arrested in May on charges of identity theft and working as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with a license. The first charge is a Class 4 felony because it is $300 or less, while the other charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
720 ILCS 5/16-30 provides some details on identity theft in the Land of Lincoln. A Class 4 felony identity theft conviction could land Martin up to four years imprisonment at an Illinois Department of Corrections facility, plus restitution, fines and court costs.
Details are not clear in the law books regarding practicing nursing without a license, but a conviction could make Martin vulnerable to civil and criminal damages. The law does not specify jail time.
Procedural delays in the Martin case
Martin’s case has gone through numerous delays since her first appearance May 1. The first delay came as a result of first counsel Sean Rees of Carlinville firm Brandenburg-Rees and Rees. Rees would motion to withdraw from the case on May 21.
Martin would then seek legal representation in June from Taylor Springs attorney Alan Pretnar. Pretnar would exit from the case after roughly after a month.
It required some clarification in a July 30 hearing as to whether Rees still was her counsel. Martin would confirm that Rees is not her legal representative either after Pretnar’s exit.
Upcoming hearings for Martin
Martin is set to appear in Sangamon County court next Monday, Sept. 21 via video conference. She faces allegations of forgery by the Village of Pawnee. The linking incident to the charge is writing false checks to pay water bills. Public Defender Stephanie Hammer is her current legal representation following several legal representation drop-outs.
Martin will appear in Morgan County court October 7 in relation to an forgery case. Allegations on file state that Martin had involvement in forging documents to purchase a car from a Jacksonville car dealership under false pretenses in an April 2019 incident. She has representation from Public Defender Tom Piper.
Outstanding out-of-state warrants
We’re continuing to investigate the outstanding warrants from North Carolina and South Carolina. A previous report states the North Carolina warrant is linked to Mecklenburg County. Representatives from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department did not return a response to any inquiries for information on this active warrant as of print time.
We are working to find out where the active warrant is from in South Carolina.
Both warrants are in relation to incidents surrounding the procurement of goods under false pretenses.
We will update you as more information becomes available.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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