A DeKalb County grand jury indicted a Pekin man Monday on a charge he killed a man during a Christmas family gathering in Sycamore.

John Knell, 44, faces between probation and five years in prison if he’s convicted of involuntary manslaughter, a Class 3 felony. He remains in custody in the DeKalb County Jail.

Knell was initially charged with aggravated domestic battery for allegedly striking Henry Berenz, 62, in the victim’s Sycamore home early Christmas morning when Berenz intervened in a fight between family members.

The blow sent Berenz tumbling down a flight of stairs, causing head injuries that produced a coma, police said. Berenz died the next day when he was taken off of life support at a Rockford hospital.

Knell has convictions in Tazewell County for misdemeanor battery in 2011 and misdemeanor aggravated assault in 1991, according to court records. He is next due in court in the homicide case on Jan. 30.