Burglars released from jail nabbed again

From left are Christopher D. Furr and Celeste O. Brenning

A man and woman who were released from jail following a late October burglary in Columbia without bail due to the new Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act attempted to evade a traffic stop in Monroe County just 12 days later before being apprehended on drug charges, police said.

Christopher D. Furr, 34, of Columbia, and Celeste O. Brenning, 28, of Belleville, were arrested Oct. 25 by the Columbia Police Department for theft and possession of a stolen vehicle following an incident in the 200 block of West Olympia Street. Furr was also charged at that time with possession of burglary tools and meth possession.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said that due to the Pretrial Fairness Act, which abolishes cash bail as a condition of pretrial release, Furr and Brenning were released from the Monroe County Jail on Oct. 27 with court dates.

Shortly before 10:45 p.m. on Nov. 8, a MCSD deputy observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation southbound on I-255 and attempted to conduct a stop. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and deputies pursued the vehicle as it continued on I-255 west into Missouri.

The vehicle took the Lindbergh Boulevard exit before turning around and traveled east on I-255. As the vehicle crossed back into Illinois, Columbia police officers were successful in deploying stop sticks that caused the vehicle’s tires to deflate. The vehicle traveled southbound on Route 3 from I-255 before coming to a stop near North Main Street in Columbia. Both the driver and passenger fled on foot from the vehicle. The passenger, identified as Brenning, was apprehended and transported to the Monroe County Jail.

The driver, identified as Furr, was able to evade deputies at that time. He was apprehended a week later by MCSD investigators along with the United States Marshals Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force at a residence in Cahokia Heights. At the time of this arrest, Furr was in possession of a controlled substance.

Furr was transported to the Monroe County Jail and subsequently charged with aggravated fleeing/eluding police, meth possession, possession of burglary tools, and driving while license suspended.

Brenning was charged with meth possession. She was again released from jail with a pending court date.

Furr was held in jail until Dec. 7, then transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections after being sentenced to three years in prison (to be served at 50 percent and with credit for 25 days served) for burglary and one year in prison (to be served at 50 percent and with credit for 25 days served) for aggravated fleeing/eluding police.

The MCSD thanked Monroe County State’s Attorney Ryan Webb and his staff for their work on this case despite the challenges due to the Pretrial Fairness Act.

β€œWith the Pretrial Fairness Act, crime will continue to get worse through the state of Illinois and the citizens should be aware that law enforcement throughout our state had nothing to do with it,” Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said.

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