DECATUR — Deonte D. Smith, who inflicted a skull fracture and intracranial bleeding on a Decatur man by pistol-whipping him, was sentenced to 24 months' probation Monday.
Smith, 23, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. An additional aggravated battery charge and two counts of home invasion were dismissed in Macon County Circuit Court.
Smith, who has been in custody since March, was then cleared for release from the Macon County Jail.
Judge Jeffrey Geisler told Smith he could have faced a maximum five years in prison and that his defense attorney, Scott Rueter, had achieved a favorable plea deal for him.
The case dates to the early hours of Feb. 17 when Smith walked into the apartment of a former girlfriend and found the 25-year-old victim. A sworn police affidavit from said Smith had pistol-whipped the victim and inflicted the serious injuries that were later diagnosed in a hospital after the victim complained of suffering intense pain.
Rueter told the judge the home invasion charges were dropped because Smith had been living at the apartment with the woman who had subsequently restarted a relationship with an “old boyfriend,” who was the victim Smith had beaten.
Commenting after the court hearing, Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott said the case was difficult for prosecutors.
"The victim refused to come in and meet with us, and he just would not cooperate at all," Scott said.
He said the plea deal seemed the reasonable way to go, especially as Smith had no criminal record.
Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid