Mt. Vernon Man Sentenced In Felony Weapons Case

(MT. VERNON, IL) — A 23-year-old Mt. Vernon man was sentenced Wednesday to 2-years in prison after he entered an “Alford” plea in a felony weapons case. Kyler Smith entered the plea on a Class 4 felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon without a FOID card. In exchange for Smith’s “Alford” plea, which means the defendant isn’t admitting guilt but believes the prosecution has evidence that could lead to a conviction, Class 3 felony possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number and Class 2 possession of a stolen firearm were dismissed, along with a misdemeanor charge of resisting a peace officer. Smith and co-defendant Chalar Taylor were arrested December 20, 2016, after they led Mt. Vernon police officers on a foot pursuit from a traffic stop. The driver was found to have a suspended Illinois driver’s license and as the driver was being taken into custody the two passengers – Smith and Taylor — fled the vehicle on foot, with Taylor striking an officer as he fled. Taylor and Smith but both were quickly apprehended after brief foot pursuits and were allegedly found in possession of handguns stolen in earlier Mt Vernon burglaries. Prosecutors said Wednesday that officers had seen Smith reach into his waistband and discard a handgun while he was running and that he did not possess a valid FOID card at that time. Smith does not have any prior felony convictions and will be given credit for approximately 99 days served in the county jail.