A Texas County jury found an Illinois man of not paying child support.

A jury trial that concluded this week in Texas County has resulted in a guilty verdict against an Illinois man who was accused of not paying for his existing children while starting a new family elsewhere.

The jury found Bradley Wright, 30, of Bethalto, Ill., guilty of  two counts of felony non-support. The jury assessed punishment of 60 days in the Texas County Jail on each count. 

Wright was found guilty for actions that occurred between Jan. 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, when he refused to pay child support for his two children, ages 9 and 10. For both children, the amount was $35 per week. 

During the charged 18-month period, Wright only paid $100 for his children, both of whom resided in Texas County. He was apprehended after the case was filed and subsequently posted bond.

After a thorough investigation by Child Support Enforcement Division officials, a probable cause statement and evidence was submitted for review to Texas County Prosecuting Attorney Parke Stevens Jr. Based on that evidence, Stevens filed a criminal complaint and requested a warrant for his arrest be issued. 

Stevens tried the case. 

“This man knowingly refused to pay for his children, however he started a new family with two additional children,” he said.

Judge William Hickle, Presiding Judge of the 25th Circuit, presided over the trial and assessed punishment in accordance with the jury’s decision. The sentence was suspended and Wright was placed on probation so he can repay the missed child support. He has been ordered to pay over $300 a month or face 120 days in jail. “Realistically, probation – which gives the defendant time to repay his owed child support – is a good sentence, and I believe the judge gave the right sentence.” Stevens said. “I want to express gratitude to Judge Hickle, the Texas County jurors, witnesses who testified, the Texas County circuit clerk and defense counsel for Mr. Wright. Only because of these individuals the criminal justice system allowed for justice to be served.”  

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