Man charged with trying to kill girlfriend

URBANA — An Urbana man who allegedly tied his girlfriend to the bed with a belt and set the bed on fire has been charged with attempted murder.

Antwann L. Brooks, 37, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Brian Place, is accused of trying to kill his 33-year-old girlfriend early Thursday in the apartment they share.

According to Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz, Brooks and the woman have lived together about two years. After having a few drinks Wednesday, Brooks left about 10 p.m. After he left, the girlfriend noticed her cellphone missing, so she called it with another phone. Brooks answered and the two of them argued over the phone.

She reported to a Champaign County sheriff's deputy that she went to bed and was awakened by Brooks allegedly hitting her in the head with a fist and accusing her of infidelity, based on a text message he saw on her phone.

He then allegedly grabbed her by the neck and choked her until she lost consciousness. When she woke, he took his belt off, tied it around her wrists while yelling that he would kill her, then set the bed on fire with his lighter.

She told the deputy that when Brooks realized how quickly the box springs were burning, he got water from the kitchen and put out the fire.

She was able to get away and hid in the garage until sunrise, when she went to the apartment complex management office and called police.

The woman was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Rietz said her injuries and the evidence found in the apartment supported her allegations, which led to Brooks' arrest.

If convicted of attempted murder, Brooks faces a mandatory prison term of six to 30 years in prison.

Brooks is being held at the Champaign County Jail on $500,000 bond. His next court appearance was set for Aug. 23.

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