URBANA — An Urbana man convicted of hitting and threatening a man who was in his care was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.
A Champaign County jury in August convicted Lorenzo C. Smith, 42, who last lived in the 1700 bock of East Florida Avenue, of aggravated battery to a senior citizen and intimidation in connection with his actions in May directed at Thomas Shute, 63.
Testimony at trial was that the two men knew each other and that in the spring, Shute invited Smith to come to Mount Carmel where he was living at the time so that Shute could help Smith get a job.
When the job for Smith didn't pan out and Shute's wife divorced him, the pair decided to move to Chicago and room together. When they were unable to rent the apartment they wanted there, they moved to Urbana in early April.
Shute, who is disabled due to a stroke, testified that he gave Smith $250 a month to assist him, while allowing Smith to live in the apartment on East Florida for which Shute paid the rent.
Shute testified that Smith threatened him more than once over money, hit him in the face, broke his glasses, and threatened to damage Shute's motorized scooter.
Neighbors noticed bruises on Smith and convinced him to call police. Smith was arrested May 24.
Ladd sentenced Smith to six years on the intimidation conviction and five years on the aggravated battery and ordered that they be served at the same time.
Assistant State's Attorney Matt Banach sought a six-year term while Assistant Public Defender Katie Jessup asked for probation or a minimal prison term.
Banach said Smith had three prior drug-related felony convictions out of Cook County from 1990 and 1992.
Smith continued to maintain his innocence and asked Ladd to consider probation for him.
Banach said Smith is also wanted by the state of Arizona on forgery and theft charges filed in 2010.