Man who beat, stabbed girlfriend gets five years in prison
URBANA — A man who whipped his girlfriend with an electrical cord and stabbed her in the leg with a knife was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison.
"Quite frankly, five years is not enough. The beating inflicted here would indicate this young man is incredibly dangerous," said Judge Tom Difanis, imposing the maximum sentence on Eliseo Vellon, 19.
Vellon, who listed an address in the 2400 block of North Neil Street, Champaign, pleaded guilty in April to aggravated battery, admitting that on April 6 he battered his then-girlfriend, Candi Northrup.
Northrup, 27, said she began dating him last November and that in the beginning of the relationship, he started out "smacking" her a couple times a month but by April, was beating her daily.
She described in detail for Difanis two serious beatings at the hands of Vellon, identifying photos of her injuries as she testified.
The first in February involved him kicking her in the face and all over the body, leaving her bruised and swollen. She did not call police because she feared him, she said, but sought help from A Woman's Place.
In the April 6 beating, which happened at a home on Pomona Drive in Champaign, she said Vellon became angry at her for hugging her brother.
"My head was bashed against the bannister," she said.
He then made her stand against a wall and whipped her across the back with an electrical cord about 20 times, she said, then stabbed her leg with a knife.
She said the beating went on for a couple hours and ended because "he left when his other girlfriend called."
Northrup said she stayed home that night and when he didn't return by morning she went to the hospital. Officials there called police.
She said she did not call police because she feared Vellon and his family. Ultimately, she said, counselors at A Woman's Place helped her realize that she should not allow his abuse to continue.
Assistant State's Attorney Troy Lozar asked for the five-year prison term for Vellon for his first adult conviction. He said Vellon had prior adjudications as a juvenile for aggravated battery and residential battery that sent him to prison.
"She was savagely beaten with a cord to the point where her back looks like it was beaten with a meat tenderizer," Lozar said, calling Vellon's behavior "extremely disturbing."
Vellon's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Jamie Propps, sought a sentence of probation with substance abuse help for Vellon, or, in the alternative, a sentence to boot camp, both of which Difanis rejected.
"I understand the heinousness of the offense but the maximum sentence is not appropriate," Propps said, noting that he had pleaded guilty and had been employed in good jobs.
Vellon said he was sorry for his poor decisions and asked Difanis to give him a second chance. Vellon is eligible for day-for-day credit on his sentence.