Two Illinois players charged with theft for allegedly stealing park statue
A pair of Illinois football players were charged with an atypical crime, to say the least.
According to a report from the Champaign News-Gazette, roommates Drew Murtaugh and Jimmy Marchese were charged with theft after allegedly stealing a park statue of a deer made out of steel wire. They then allegedly put the deer on their roof on their building.
They both appeared in Champaign County Circuit Court. They’re facing penalties of anywhere from $500-$10,000 with a sentence ranging from probation to 2-5 years in prison.
The News-Gazette reported that the statue has a value of $5,000. The Illini roommates told police that they took it when they were walking home on April 29. Police got a tip that the the statue, which had been reported missing by The Champaign Park District, was spotted on the roof of their building.
They’ll appear in court on June 12.
Marchese, a former walk-on, got two starts and played in all 12 games in 2017. He finished the season with 18 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. Murtaugh has yet to appear in a game for the Illini.
Lovie Smith said through a spokesperson to the News-Gazette that their respective statuses with the team had not been determined yet.