Lengthy prison term for convicted burglar

URBANA — An Urbana man with a history of criminal convictions was sentenced Friday to 16 years in prison for his latest crime.

James A. Algee, 44, whose last known address was in the 1100 block of North Division Avenue, had pleaded guilty in February in Champaign County Circuit Court to residential burglary for breaking into a woman's home in the 600 block of South Fifth Street in Champaign last summer.

Assistant State's Attorney Chris Kanis said the woman living there returned home on July 30 to find Algee inside. He claimed he had mistaken her apartment for the building's leasing office and left.

Then, on Aug. 7, in the early morning hours, that same 22-year-old woman woke to find Algee in her apartment. He left after she screamed. She learned that her purse, two credit or debit cards, and about $200 had been stolen.

Police found Algee nearby and the woman positively identified him but her property was never recovered, Kanis said.

His DNA was also found on a cigarette butt outside her apartment, the prosecutor said.

Because of his prior criminal record, Algee was eligible for sentencing as a Class X offender to between six and 30 years.

Kanis, however, had agreed to cap his recommendation at 22 years. To aggravate Algee's sentence, Kanis presented evidence linking him to a March 13, 2011, residential burglary in Champaign.

Algee's attorney, Walter Ding of Champaign, asked for a 10-year sentence for his client but Difanis split the difference in imposing 16 years.

Algee's prior felony convictions include obstructing justice, trespass to residence, residential burglary and burglary.

Kanis said Algee was on parole at the time he committed this offense.

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areader wrote on March 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Good news--get this criminal behind bars where he belongs!