URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted he robbed a man outside a Rantoul motel in September has been sentenced to probation and public service.

Judge Heidi Ladd also ordered Steven Houston, 30, who listed an address in the 1100 block of Bel Aire Drive, to pay $200 for the services of his court-appointed lawyer.

Houston pleaded guilty in early October to aggravated robbery, admitting that on Sept. 5, he took money from a man he had met earlier that day while he was believed to be in possession of a gun.

Rantoul police learned from the victim, a 55-year-old man from Alabama who was staying at the Knights Inn on West Champaign Avenue in Rantoul, that Houston approached him and demanded his wallet. The man declined to give it up, but when he saw a gun, he turned over his wallet out of fear even though Houston had not directly threatened him with the weapon.

Houston was sentenced to 30 months of probation and 30 hours of public service.

Another charge of theft from person was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

Court records show that Houston has other convictions from Champaign County for aggravated driving under the influence for which he is now serving a sentence of probation, aggravated assault, and violation of bail bond.

mschenk@news-gazette.com