URBANA — An Urbana man with a history of violence has been sentenced to the maximum prison term he could receive for his latest and most serious conviction.
Clemon Adkinson, 31, whose last known address was in the 1700 block of East Florida Avenue, was convicted by a jury in December of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting a woman in the forehead in her Champaign home almost a year ago. Judge Tom Difanis sentenced him Tuesday to 30 years in prison.
The incident occurred March 4, 2011, at the home of Amanda Cavanaugh, 25, in the 1500 block of West Clark Street.
On that day, two men forced her way into her home, where seven people, including Cavanaugh, were present.
At the trial, jurors heard Cavanaugh identify Adkinson as the man who pointed a loaded gun at her forehead, pulled the trigger and shot her. The bullet grazed her forehead but cut it enough that she needed stitches.
Cavanaugh did not know Adkinson, but another person in the house recognized him and gave his first name to police, who put together a photo array from which she and Cavanaugh picked him as the shooter.
The second man, who had a mask over his face, was never located.
Adkinson, who has four prior convictions for domestic battery, one for aggravated battery and one for carrying a concealed weapon, told Difanis he hadn't led the best life or been the most perfect person but, in this case, was a victim of misidentification.
"You all got the wrong man here today. That's not me. I'm a lovable person. I'm a goofy person," Adkinson said.
Difanis said it was unfortunate that Adkinson was taken from his mother at the age of 14 and raised by the state of Illinois for the next five years.
But he said this latest offense, which he called "outrageous," was Adkinson's 12th criminal conviction and that a message of deterrence needed to be sent to others who would consider using guns illegally.
"The number of violent convictions speak volumes about his rehabilitative potential," said Difanis, calling it "almost nil."
Assistant State's Attorney Adam Dill sought the 30-year sentence while Assistant Public Defender Amanda Riess asked for a term closer to the minimum of six years.
Adkinson was given credit for 238 days already served in the county jail.
Under truth-in-sentencing, Adkinson will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence, or just over 25 years in prison.