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URBANA — A homeless man with a history of battery convictions has been sentenced to six years in prison for kicking a hospital security guard.

In exchange for Williams Smith’s guilty plea to aggravated battery, Assistant State’s Attorney Joel Fletcher agreed to dismiss two other theft cases against him.

Fletcher said about 6 p.m. May 15, Champaign police found Smith, 62, near the intersection of Prospect and Columbia avenues after receiving a call to check his welfare.

Police found outstanding arrest warrants for Smith but declined to take him into custody right away because he was highly intoxicated, Fletcher said.

Instead, they took him to Carle Foundation Hospital’s emergency department. There, the prosecutor said, Smith became irate and threatened to kick a hospital security officer, then did so.

Fletcher said Smith had 11 previous convictions dating to 1976 for robbery, aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, domestic battery, residential burglary, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property and theft.

Over Fletcher’s objection, Judge Roger Webber allowed Smith, who had already served 66 days in jail, to be released for a week. He was ordered to turn himself in at the satellite jail Monday morning.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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