A Bellwood, Illinois man was sentenced Tuesday in Jackson County Court after entering a guilty plea in October to the offense of possession of a weapon in a penal institution – a Class 1 felony – and threatening a public official – a Class 3 felony.
Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Carr says on Nov. 29 of last year, 41-year-old Travis S. Winters was an inmate at the Jackson County Jail. He wrote a letter to the corrections staff threatening one of the correction officers. Winters said he was going to stab the officer in the eyes with a pencil over a disagreement regarding commissary money.
Sheriff’s deputies began investigating the threat, and during an interview with Winters, he threatened to kill the corrections officer and other officers in the jail.
While Winters was being interviewed, he cell was searched. A weapon commonly referred to as a “shank” was found. When officers confronted Winters about the shank, he removed another one from his sock. A shank, which is categorized as a weapon, is an item of contraband not allowed in a correction facility.
Winters was sentenced Tuesday to 9 years for possession of contraband in a penal institution and an extended term sentenced of 8 years for threatening a public official. Both sentences will run concurrently with each other. He will serve a two year period of mandatory supervised release when he is released from prison.