Smith turns self in on felony charges

ME Online

ME Online

By Erin Foley and Steve Contorno

Following a warrant for his arrest, Jamar Smith turned himself in to Champaign County authorities on Wednesday, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. Smith is charged with one count of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a class 4 felony, and one count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, a class 3 felony.

The class 4 felony carries between one to 12 years in the Department of Corrections, while the class 3 felony carries two to five years in prison. Smith’s blood alcohol level was .176 – more than two times the legal limit.

“Even if the State had not sought a warrant, Jamar would have immediately submitted to the jurisdiction of the court upon the filing of charges,” said Smith’s lawyer, Mark D. Lipton, in a press release.

Smith, a sophomore guard, is set to appear in court on Feb. 23. His bond was set at $10,000.

“When we appear in court, we will tender pleas of not guilty and demand a jury trial,” Lipton said. “Jamar and I are confident that this matter can be appropriately resolved in due course.”

It was announced last week that Smith would miss the remainder of the season and it was mutually agreed upon by Smith and head coach Bruce Weber.

“Jamar is concerned about Brian (Carlwell) and was pleased and thankful that his prayers for Brian’s speedy and full recovery appear to have been answered,” Lipton said.

Carlwell, the passenger in Smith’s vehicle at the time of the accident, was released from Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana last Friday after suffering a severe concussion that left him in critical condition. Illinois trainers are hopeful Carlwell will be able to play in the Big Ten Tournament, beginning on March 8.