PAXTON — A convicted felon pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor theft in return for Ford County’s prosecutor agreeing to dismiss felony theft and burglary charges that had been filed against him.
Luis Barbosa Sr., 58, formerly of Roberts, entered the plea to the Class A misdemeanor as potential jurors waited to be empaneled for his trial that was to begin Monday at the courthouse in Paxton.
After being admonished by Judge Matt Fitton of the potential penalties if convicted by the jury of the more serious charges, Barbosa and his public defender, Harvey Welch, held a discussion.
Barbosa then elected to enter an open plea to the amended misdemeanor theft charge, and a sentencing hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. May 31.
State’s Attorney Andrew Killian said that despite Barbosa’s plea to the misdemeanor — a charge alleging he stole items with a value not exceeding $500 — Killian anticipates the restitution he will seek on behalf of the victim will far exceed that number.
In addition to being ordered to pay restitution, Barbosa also faces up to a year in the Ford County Jail and/or two years of court supervision, conditional discharge or probation.
Barbosa was charged in June 2017 with theft of $500 to $10,000, a Class 3 felony, and burglary, a Class 2 felony, in connection with an incident in February 2017. According to Killian, Barbosa entered his former residence — which was then owned by JICTB Inc. pursuant to a tax deed filed on May 17, 2016 — and removed several items, including a furnace, hot-water heater, cabinets and countertops, without JICTB Inc.’s authorization.
Ford County Circuit Court records show that Barbosa was charged with felony domestic battery in 2004 and was sentenced to 18 months in state prison.
Also, Barbosa was charged in 1999 with driving under the influence of alcohol, later pleading guilty and receiving 18 months of probation.
In 1998, Barbosa was charged with armed violence, a Class X felony, and received a year of probation.
Numerous other charges filed against Barbosa in recent years were all dismissed, including charges of Class 3 felony theft of $300 to $10,000, misdemeanor criminal trespass to land and misdemeanor violation of bail bond in 2004; felony aggravated battery to a peace officer and resisting a peace officer in 1999; and misdemeanor domestic battery, felony battery and misdemeanor violation of bail bond and felony violation of bail bond/possession of a firearm in 1998.