Man in custody for 2011 home invasion

Man in custody for 2011 home invasion

RANTOUL — One of two men believed responsible for an attack on an elderly woman in her Rantoul home last year is in police custody.

Michael Wilkins, 19, who listed an address in the 100 block of South Marshall Street, Rantoul, was arrested by Rantoul police Thursday at his home on warrants that had been recently issued in Champaign County for his arrest.

He is charged with home invasion, residential burglary and aggravated battery for an attack on a 93-year-old woman in her home on June 10, 2011. He is also charged with an unrelated aggravated battery to a man in Rantoul that happened Oct. 13, 2011.

Home invasion co-defendant Jose Morrison, 21, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Fairway Drive, Rantoul, is currently in the Coles County Jail awaiting trial on charges of home invasion, robbery and residential burglary in connection with an incident that occurred in Mattoon last October.

Rantoul police Sgt. Marcus Beach said about 12:30 a.m. on June 10, someone rang the doorbell of the woman's home on Illinois Drive in Rantoul. Because she lived alone, the woman did not answer the door and went back to bed.

She was awakened not long after by someone in her room. Beach said when she sat up in bed, she was punched in the face and had a pair of her own pants wrapped around her head.

The woman was not seriously injured and did not contact police immediately, Beach said.

However, later that day she told her home health care worker what had happened and police began their investigation. They discovered that the intruders took cash and a flat-screen television.

In a search of the neighborhood, police found an old wallet belonging to the victim's late husband as well as a pair of gloves that came from her garage, Beach said. Those items were sent to the state crime lab and DNA recovered from one was linked to Morrison.

Beach said as soon as his officers got that information in late February, they interviewed Morrison, who was already in the Coles County Jail for an alleged home invasion in Mattoon that happened there in October. Morrison then implicated Wilkins, Beach said.

Wilkins is currently serving a sentence of three years probation for a burglary to which he pleaded guilty in January that occurred Oct. 14, 2011, on Fox Ridge Drive in Rantoul. A more serious charge of residential burglary was dismissed in that case.

The other aggravated battery he's charged with allegedly happened Oct. 13, 2011, at his own home. Beach said Wilkins allegedly attacked a 53-year-old Mahomet man who was at the home visiting Wilkins' grandmother. That man sustained blows to the face and upper body and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment, Beach said.

Wilkins is being held on a total of $275,000 bond in both cases. He's due to be back in court March 30.

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