Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 27, 2014

Judge slices bond in half for Ecstasy suspect

EFFINGHAM — An Effingham County judge agreed Thursday to slice bond in half for a St. Elmo man charged with selling Ecstasy earlier this year.

Levi W. Mahon, 26, had been arrested Feb. 14 on suspicion of delivery of a controlled substance. Authorities say Mahon and alleged accomplice Matthew Koberlein, also 26 of St. Elmo, were arrested after Mahon tried to sell more than 100 Ecstasy pills to a confidential source of the Effingham Police Department in the 1500 block of West Fayette Avenue.

Though Mahon could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on the Class X felony, Judge J. Marc Kelly agreed to lower the defendant's bond from $100,000 to $50,000, providing he met a number of conditions, including home confinement at grandmother Joann Stortzum's Watson home except for legal and medical appointments. Mahon would also be subject to random drug testing.

Mahon posted $5,000 bail — the standard 10 percent of bond — and was released to his grandmother's home shortly after Thursday's court appearance.

Stortzum testified that she was comfortable with Mahon staying at her home, noting that she lived next door to Effingham County sheriff's deputy John Ashbaugh. She added that she would not hesitate to report her grandson for violating any bond conditions.

Defense attorney Aaron Leonard had asked Kelly to consider releasing Mahon on $100,000 recognizance bond, or $25,000 regular bond. Leonard noted Mahon had no criminal history, did not have a history of violence, and had deep family ties to the area.

"There is no evidence that Mr. Mahon would flee," Leonard said. "He doesn't have anywhere else to go but here."

Special Assistant State's Attorney Ralph Fowler argued against lowering the original bond, noting that Mahon had been found with several types of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms, at the time of his arrest.

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