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Local

Former mayoral candidate facing felony charge

Police: Batley hid woman accused of violating her probation

Marc D. Batley and Jacinda I. Garza
Marc D. Batley and Jacinda I. Garza

STERLING – A recent Sterling mayoral candidate was jailed Tuesday morning, accused of hiding a convicted armed robber who police said is in violation of the terms of her probation.

Marc Douglas Batley, 61, is charged with aiding a fugitive, which carries 1 to 3 years in prison. He is accused of knowingly concealing Jacinda Inez Garza, 39, of Sterling, who was wanted on an Ogle County warrant for failure to pay or appear on a misdemeanor drug conviction.

Garza was sentenced Jan. 25 to 4 years’ probation for her role in the Aug. 20 armed robbery of El Vaquero Food Market, 1221 W. Fourth St. in Sterling. A second count of armed robbery was dismissed as part of her plea agreement, and she was ordered to pay fines and costs at a rate of $50 a month, starting March 20. She made that payment, but missed this month’s payment, which was due April 17, court records show.

On May 31, 3 months before the robbery, she was charged in Ogle County with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. She pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to the paraphernalia charge, the marijuana charge was dropped, and she was fined $750, which she was to pay in $50 monthly installments.

Once her bond was applied, the fine dropped to $300, but she failed to make her March payment and an arrest warrant was issued, court records show.

Failing to abide by the terms of her sentences, which would include paying her fines on time or showing up in court to explain why she could not, is a violation of her probation; if convicted, she could be imprisoned up to the full term of her probation.

She was in Whiteside County Jail Tuesday on $250,000 bond,

No information on her relationship to or with Batley, who ran unsuccessfully for Sterling mayor in 2011 and again in April, was available Tuesday.

A bond hearing for Batley likely will be held Wednesday.

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