Jury convicts man of home invasion in attack on ex-girlfriend

URBANA — An Urbana man who entered the home of his former girlfriend without permission and battered her is facing up to 30 years in prison when sentenced next month.

A Champaign County jury deliberated about two hours before finding Jermaine K. Wilson, 35, guilty of home invasion.

Wilson, who listed an address in the 2400 block of East Illinois Street, was charged with forcing his way into the home of Tatiana Leviston, 27, in the 1100 block of Joanne Lane, Champaign, on March 23.

Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark said evidence in the two-day trial before Judge Harry Clem was that the couple has a 10-month-old child but that their relationship was on-again, off-again.

Leviston testifed that in early March, she ended the relationship with Wilson.

On March 23, she was sleeping on the couch with her child when she woke about 12:30 a.m. to find Wilson standing over her, speaking angrily at her. She did not know how he got in but she tried to distract him by handing him the baby. She also tried to get away from him by running to the bathroom.

Leviston said Wilson pulled her back by the hair and the clothing but she bolted for the kitchen door, with him punching her in the face and head about six times as he held the baby in his arms. He also pulled out a patch of her hair, she said.

The two ended up back in the living room, where she tried to calm him by having him read the Bible.

Clark said Leviston's sister knocked on the door but he would not let her answer until she changed her ripped and rumpled shirt. When Leviston did let her sister in, Wilson left, apparently through the kitchen.

Leviston's sister called police at 1:37 a.m. Police could find no signs of forced entry. The women locked the house and left but Leviston returned about two hours later to get a bottle for the baby and found Wilson standing in her bedroom.

She ran out and called police and again Wilson was gone by the time police arrived. This time, officers found the bedroom window open and blinds knocked to the floor while the doors were still locked.

Wilson was arrested on March 26 in Urbana.

In his defense, he claimed that he had a key to Leviston's home and that she invited him to the house. He told the jury that they were fighting over money and that it turned physical and that the two of them fell when Leviston grabbed him.

Clem set sentencing for June 6.

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