Champaign man pleads innocent to residential burglary

URBANA — A Champaign man is being held at the Champaign County Jail on $75,000 bond following a series of incidents that took police from unincorporated Champaign to Dewey, Mahomet and back to Dewey again.

Daniel Skillings, 34, who listed an address in the 1000 block of West Maple Street, Champaign, pleaded innocent on Monday to one count of residential burglary; one count of receiving, possessing or selling a stolen vehicle; and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence with no valid driver's license.

Skillings' next court appearance was set for July 1.

According to a Champaign County sheriff's report, Skillings had knocked on the door of a home in the 0-100 block of Maple Court in unincorporated Champaign on Sunday and asked if an individual living there was at home.

Later that night, the residents were returning to their home at 10:12 p.m. when they saw a man leaving their house through the front door.

A window of the home had also been broken, so they called 911. Nothing was reported missing, according to the report.

They identified the man who had entered their home as Skillings and told deputies that Skillings has been in the house earlier in the day.

Police said that Skillings next showed up at a relative's house in the 400 block of Paul Avenue in Champaign. The relative said that Skillings had left in a hurry, driving a truck, at 10:38 p.m. Sunday.

Deputies identified the truck as one that had been reported stolen earlier.

At 2:10 a.m. Monday, deputies were dispatched to a home in rural Dewey, where one of Skillings' relatives said Skillings had showed up driving a truck. When Skillings told the relative he had stolen the truck, police were called.

By the time deputies arrived at the rural Dewey home, Skillings had left in the truck.

Police continued to look for the stolen truck.

Soon a deputy spotted the truck, with Skillings behind the wheel, at the Mobil gas station at 506 S. Prairieview Road in Mahomet. When the deputy pulled up to the truck, Skillings drove away.

The deputy followed Skillings as he drove back to the home in rural Dewey. The report said Skillings pulled into a driveway and crashed the truck into a parked vehicle.

When police arrested Skillings, they said he was stumbling, had bloodshot eyes and had a strong odor of alcohol.

The report said that Skillings agreed to take a breathalyzer test, which indicated he had a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08. In Illinois, a motorist is presumed to be intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or above.

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