Rickey McClellan Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Obstructing Justice in Toby Britton Murder Prosecution
DATE: September 10, 2015
Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott announced that Rickey McClellan, 29 of Decatur, was sentenced today by Circuit Judge Timothy Steadman to 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the Class 4 crime of Obstructing Justice. McClellan was found guilty at a jury trial in July of providing false information to obstruct the prosecution of Cameron Slater. The sentencing range for Class 4 felonies is normally 1 to 3 years in prison if probation is not ordered. Due to his prior criminal record McClellan was eligible for an extended term sentence of up to 6 years. Scott, who prosecuted the case, requested the maximum sentence of 6 years.
McClellan was the only eyewitness to the May 5, 2013 shooting death of Toby Britton, which occurred in the 700 block of Harper Avenue in Decatur. McClellan identified Cameron Slater as the gunman who shot and killed the unarmed Britton over a drug deal gone bad. Slater was originally charged with First Degree Murder in that case. Shortly before Slater's trial was scheduled to begin, McClellan, after having repeated phone conversations with Slater from the Macon County Jail, told Nate Binkley, Chief Investigator for the State's Attorney's Office, that Britton was armed with a pistol, which he first pointed at McClellan, then at Slater, before Slater shot him. As a result of McClellan recanting his original statement, Slater entered a plea to the lesser charge of Second Degree Murder, and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. If convicted of the original charge, Slater would have faced 45 years to natural life in prison.
"We take a pretty dim view of people who lie to law enforcement," Scott said. "As prosecutors we have a duty to seek justice in every case and to protect the public. When people like Rickey McClellan provide false information they hamstring our ability to do so. He single-handedly deprived the Britton family of justice and jeopardized the safety of our community. We hope McClellan's sentence sends a message that our criminal justice system is not something to be toyed with."
Macon County State's Attorney