8 years in prison for man who entered Champaign home

8 years in prison for man who entered Champaign home

URBANA — A man who was arrested last year for entering a Champaign family's home while they were present just four days after his release from prison has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Curtis Cathey, 24, pleaded guilty Friday before Judge Roger Webber to a single count of burglary, admitting that on May 24, 2016, he walked into a home in the 800 block of West University Avenue intending to steal.

Cathey was charged with residential burglary and criminal trespass in the wake of his arrest but within weeks, was found unfit to stand trial. He was recently declared fit and returned to the Champaign County jail from the McFarland Mental Health Center, where he had been receiving treatment.

In return for his plea, the residential burglary and criminal trespass charges were dismissed.

Assistant State's Attorney Joel Fletcher said about 11:35 p.m. on that Tuesday, Cathey entered the home, causing the woman living there to scream. Her husband then tackled Cathey and held him until police arrived.

The police report about the incident said the woman was actually in the bathtub when Cathey pulled back the shower curtain, frightening her. That woke her husband, who rushed to the bathroom where Cathey was trying to shut the door to keep the husband out.

The husband got the door open and engaged in a struggle with Cathey, that resulted in the husband sustaining a bloody nose and rug burns.

Police said Cathey, who had a bad odor coming from him, babbled incoherently during questioning. Police found the family's house keys on him, which he had apparently taken off a peg in the mud room when he entered through an unlocked door.

The couple's teenage son was also home at the time, the police report said.

Because of prior convictions, Cathey faced a mandatory prison term of between three and 14 years for the burglary.

Fletcher said those convictions included trespass, domestic battery, resisting a peace officer, theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.

He had been released from the Danville prison on May 20, 2016, according to prison records.

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