McPhearson, Ellis to take different routes with court cases

By Sky Opila

Derrick McPhearson and Jody Ellis, former Illinois football players, appeared in court again Tuesday.

Ellis is expected to enter into a plea deal on June 11 while McPhearson has requested a trial on May 21. Ellis will serve four months in boot camp if he accepts the deal and pleads guilty to one count of residential burglary. If accepted, the sentence would begin immediately.

“Jody told me what he wanted, it was his choice,” said Ed Piraino, Ellis’ attorney. “He wanted to accept this offer, and, as always, the client decides what he wants to do.”

Both men plead not guilty to four counts of residential burglary and two counts of theft under $300 on March 5, stemming from an incident on Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. During a traffic stop on the night of March 2, police found wallets, laptops, cell phones and other electronics that were suspected stolen in a car driven by Ellis.

Following their arrest, Coach Ron Zook dismissed the men from the football team.

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