'My life is in shambles'

'My life is in shambles'

URBANA — A St. Joseph man convicted of slugging and choking a former girlfriend who was in a car with him has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Under truth-in-sentencing, Jesse Tatman, 36, will have to serve at least 7 1 / 2 years behind bars for the aggravated domestic battery of the 39-year-old woman who has since left the area.

Although he maintained he was innocent of the crime, Tatman admitted he has a drug problem.

"My life is in shambles and I take full responsibility for that," he said, asking Judge Tom Difanis to recommend him for drug treatment while in prison. Difanis agreed to do so.

In July, a jury convicted Tatman of aggravated domestic battery after hearing from the woman that she was driving him on Interstate 74 from St. Joseph to Urbana about 1:10 a.m. on May 6 when they got into an argument and he hit her in the face with a closed fist.

Assistant State's Attorney Bridget Schott reminded Difanis of the testimony from the woman at trial that Tatman threatened to kill her as she drove. Once off the interstate in Urbana, she stopped the car and he reached over and began choking her, she testified.

Tatman eventually got out of her car and took her keys with him. It wasn't until two days later that he was arrested.

Champaign County sheriff's deputies documented the woman's swollen lower lip and red marks on her neck in the immediate aftermath of the encounter.

Because of his prior criminal record, which includes convictions for aggravated battery, driving under the influence, criminal trespass to residence, burglary and driving under suspension, Tatman had to be sentenced to prison. He also faced an extended term of up to 14 years.

Schott recommended 10, while defense attorney Brian King of Champaign argued for three to five years, noting that Tatman had only one prior violent crime.

Difanis noted that Tatman was likely intoxicated or under the influence of some drug when he slugged and choked the woman. Reviewing the number of substances that Tatman has abused, he remarked: "It's a pharmacy list."

"This is a relatively outrageous offense," Difanis said.

Tatman was given credit on his sentence for 296 days already served.

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Berto71 wrote on February 20, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Interesting. Here is another recent domestic volence case adjudicated by Judge Difanis:


There the guy broke into his ex-girlfriend's apartment as a part of a robbery/home invasiion, beat her up and choked her, and left with her money. Difanis gave him probation.

So why such leniency in that case, and such fire and brimstone in this one? 


And here is Difanis giving a 4-year sentence for aggravated battery


and a 2 years and 10 months sentence, with a bootcamp recommendation, for the campustown beating in the Robbie Patton case:





rsp wrote on February 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

This guy has had repeated opportunities to deal with his addiction. He's older and getting set in his ways, not learning from his mistakes. Someone younger with only a minor record or no record, prison will only increase the likelyhood they will never turn their lives around. Probation they can get services in the community.

People see a few names in the paper and think those are all the cases that go through court. Those are just a few cases. You don't hear about the vast majority who might go in and never come back because they changed their lives.

A lot of things could be made better but not if the special interest groups aren't willing to get out of their own way. There is no one size fits all.

GLG wrote on February 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Tatman will have plenty of time to show the other inmates how tough he is in prison, He will be passed around like so much property like a pack of smokes by the really tough guys in prison! Nine years?? I hope it feels like 90 years! Tough guy!