Illinois Woman Who Faked Cancer Diagnosis Gets Increased Sentence

An Illinois woman convicted of falsely claiming she and her son had cancer saw her sentence increased after she asked for reconsideration of her original sentence.

Melissa D. Barton was sentenced in July to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of felony theft by deception. She solicited money from donors for fraudulent cancer claims.

The Telegraph in Alton reports public defender John Rekowski contends the sentence was too harsh. But instead of probation, Madison County Judge Kyle Napp on Thursday gave Barton a two-year sentence.

Napp said giving Barton probation would "deprecate the seriousness of the crime."

State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Napp modified the sentence to comply with the law, which sets the minimum at 24 months.

Rekowski called the new sentence "even more unfair than the original one."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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