Man sentenced to 10 years for second-degree murder plea

Man sentenced to 10 years for second-degree murder plea

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted killing a man who had attacked him with a beer bottle more than a year ago has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd sentenced Keontae Campbell, 25, whose last known local address was in the 800 block of Oakcrest Drive, C., on Friday. He will receive credit for 519 days he has already served.

Campbell pleaded guilty on Oct. 15 to second-degree murder in connection with the July 1, 2011, shooting death in Champaign of Nathan Barker, 26, of Champaign.

As part of a plea agreement, other murder counts were dismissed.

Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton, who negotiated the plea agreement with Campbell's attorney, Dan Jackson of Champaign, had agreed not to seek more than 11 years in prison for Campbell. The maximum penalty Campbell faced was 15 years.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said that, had there been a trial, witnesses would have testified that the two men argued and Mr. Barker struck Campbell in the head with a beer bottle, causing cuts to Campbell's face.

Witnesses also said Mr. Barker was the one who brought out a gun and that he and Campbell struggled over it, with Campbell ultimately wresting it from Mr. Barker.

As Mr. Barker walked away, Campbell fired three shots — one at the ground, a second that hit a building, and the third that hit Mr. Barker in the chest, causing his death.

Rietz said the state agreed, given all the circumstances, to resolve the case with a plea to second-degree murder.

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getoverhere wrote on December 02, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Why does self-defense always get punished in this county? So glad I'm leaving this miserable place.