Man accused in beating was on parole, had recent convictions

Man accused in beating was on parole, had recent convictions

PAXTON — A man on parole from state prison for aggravated battery had pleaded guilty to battery and aggravated assault, in different cases, in the months before he was accused of beating Gibson City man who died from his injuries.

Ryan A. Nibbe, 34, was released on parole from Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg on Feb. 19, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. He had been an inmate there since April 4, 2012, after receiving a two-year sentence for an aggravated battery conviction in Macon County.

Two months after he was paroled, Nibbe was charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct in Brown County, for allegedly punching a man in the face multiple times and threatening a woman's son, according to court documents.

Nibbe, who was living in Decatur at the time, pleaded guilty to battery on May 16 and received one year of conditional discharge, a $500 fine and one day in the county jail, with credit for one day already served. The disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.

On May 24, Nibbe was arrested for aggravated assault, a misdemeanor, for approaching a Rantoul police officer in a "fighting stance," Champaign County Circuit Court records show. Nibbe, who was living in Rantoul at the time, pleaded guilty on June 14 to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 22 days in the county jail, with credit for 22 days served. He was released from jail that same day, according to the Champaign County sheriff's office.

Prison officials were notified of both arrests, but Nibbe's parole was never revoked because his parole agent did not pursue a warrant, according to Tom Shaer, director of communications for the Corrections Department.

Shaer noted that Nibbe "had committed no offenses serious enough to return to prison," adding that "most misdemeanor offenses are not serious enough to send a parolee back to prison."

"It's better to continue to work with the parolee to have him comply with the terms of his parole," Shaer said. "Also, the state's attorney (in both Brown and Champaign counties) did not recommend a return to prison."

Nibbe, whose projected discharge date from parole is Feb. 19, 2014, remained at the Ford County Jail on a $150,000 bond, charged with two counts of felony battery in connection with an altercation in Gibson City on July 28.

The man Nibbe allegedly punched — 44-year-old Timothy Robertson — died Aug. 5 after sustaining a fractured skull.

Ford County State's Attorney Matt Fitton said Thursday he is considering filing additional charges of either second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter.

Court records show Nibbe also has convictions in Champaign County for obstructing justice (2011), unlawful restraint (2006), domestic battery (2006), driving under the influence (2006), misdemeanor battery (2005) and burglary (2000). He also has convictions in Ford County for aggravated battery (2008) and criminal damage to property (2005). He was also convicted of theft in Vermilion County in 1997.

Autopsy shows blunt force trauma caused death

URBANA — Preliminary autopsy results show that complications from blunt-force trauma caused the death of a 44-year-old Gibson City man, who died eight days after sustaining a traumatic head injury in an altercation with another man.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup released the findings of the autopsy conducted on Timothy Robertson on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Robertson was pronounced dead at 10:59 a.m. Monday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Mr. Robertson had been in a coma at the hospital since July 28, after his skull was fractured in a fight in Gibson City, police said in documents filed in Ford County Circuit Court.

The man who allegedly punched Mr. Robertson — Ryan A. Nibbe, 34, who listed an address at an apartment in the 700 block of North State Street in Gibson City — has been charged in Ford County Circuit Court with two counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.

Nibbe remained at the Ford County Jail on a $150,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Monday.

News-Gazette reporter Mary Schenk contributed to this report.

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