Ellis sentenced to prison term, probation for burglary

Jody Ellis Steve Contorno

Jody Ellis Steve Contorno

By Eric Heisig

Former Illini football player Joseph “Jody” Ellis was sentenced to 120 days in prison and 30 months probation at the Champaign County Courthouse Tuesday morning.

Ellis pleaded guilty to a class three felony for charges stemming from a March 2007 incident in which Ellis was charged with the theft of a laptop valued at more than $300.

The robbery occurred on March 2, 2007, which was also Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. Ellis was found with stolen items in his vehicle. The former wide receiver was dismissed from the team by head coach Ron Zook days after the incident.

Derrick McPhearson, also a former member of the team, was arrested with Ellis in 2007 and dismissed by Zook. McPhearson was charged with felony theft on Feb. 22 and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 30 months probation.

Ellis will serve his probation in Maryland, where he currently resides.

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A spokesperson for the football team said Zook had no comment about the sentencing.