Kell Man Receives Additional Time For Escape Charge

(SALEM, IL) — A 23-year-old Kell man was sentenced Tuesday in Marion County court to an additional five year prison sentence to be served on top of a previous 25 year prison term, resulting in a 30 year total. John A. Morton had pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge of escape. Morton had been sentenced last March to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery to his infant son, causing the child permanent disability. He was sentenced in an unrelated case to an additional 5 year consecutive sentence after he pleaded guilty to distributing synthetic drugs. But before Morton began serving his 25 year sentence, Judge Mark Stedelin agreed to give him time to get his affairs in order and granted him a two week furlough, from which Morton did not return until spending nearly four months on the run from the law. He eventually arranged his surrender to U.S. Marshals. While both prosecution and defense presented arguments at the sentencing, Morton did not give allocution, and did not address the court on his own behalf.