Casey Rice got shot in the shoulder when he trespassed in an East Peoria man’s home last Christmas morning, a more painful result of the crime than the fine imposed for it this week.
The Morton man, however, still faces prison if he’s convicted of two theft-related felonies charged against him since then, and if his parole for bank robbery is revoked.
Rice, 30, and his wife Jordan, 28, now of Carbondale, each were fined $250 when they pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor trespassing. Rice’s conviction was entered onto his criminal record, while his wife was given the chance to prevent that by completing a year of court supervision.
The couple told police they thought they were entering the home of Rice’s father in the 100 block of Stahl Avenue at about 2 a.m. last Christmas after they left a nearby tavern, a prosecutor’s court affidavit stated.
Instead, they walked through what they said was the unlocked door of Christopher Cecil’s home as he and his girlfriend slept. Cecil, 51, awoke to sounds in the house and took his handgun from his dresser.
When Cecil opened the door with his weapon to confront the couple in the dark hallway, Jordan Rice said she realized “they had made a mistake,” the affidavit stated.
Cecil said he shot Rice when Rice walked toward him from behind his wife and ignored Cecil’s command to stop. Police were called and heard people “yelling in the kitchen” as they entered.
Six months before the incident, Rice was released on parole after serving about half of a nine-year prison term for the aggravated robbery of a Pekin bank. He had completed a 76-day jail term about two weeks earlier for possessing a hypodermic syringe. Rice also has served prison terms for aggravated battery and forgery.
He was arrested twice in August for allegedly stealing cellphone chargers from the Walmart Supercenter in East Peoria and allegedly using a credit card taken from his mother’s vehicle. Free on bond, he’s scheduled to next appear in court on Nov. 20 in those cases.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin