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URBANA — A University of Illinois basketball player who admitted hitting a woman in the head will escape a conviction if he completes all the things he has agreed to.

Kendrick M. Nunn, 20, who lives in the 0-100 block of East John Street, Champaign, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning before Judge John Kennedy to a single count of misdemeanor battery, admitting that on March 16, he hit Kayla Williams of Champaign during an altercation in her apartment. The charge alleges that he hit her in the head, pushed her to the floor and poured water on her.

Nunn, from Chicago, was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision, ordered to perform 100 hours of public service, enroll in a partner abuse intervention program and write a letter of apology to Williams. He was also fined $200.

If Nunn successfully completes all those terms, then no conviction will enter on his record.

Two counts of domestic battery were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. 

Nunn said he was relieved to have the case resolved.

"I am embarrassed because it's not the person I am. I should not be here," he said.

At the time of Nunn's arrest, First Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler said that a Champaign police report indicated neighbors who heard a loud argument coming from Williams' apartment called 911.

Police arrived and both Williams and Nunn were present but said they were just friends and that nothing had happened. Police talked to Nunn and asked him to leave, which he did.

Later, Williams called police back and said she and Nunn did indeed have a relationship and that they were arguing over whether or not she owed him money.

Ziegler said at some point in their dispute, Nunn pushed her, hit her in the back of the head and poured water on her. Police reported seeing red marks on Williams' neck and shoulder, which they photographed as part of their investigation.

Nunn was represented by Urbana attorney Tony Bruno, who negotiated the plea agreement with Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Hall.

Hall also is prosecuting Nunn's teammate, Jaylon Tate, 21, for domestic battery, while Bruno's brother and law partner, Evan Bruno, has been coming to court on Tate's behalf. His case is set for trial before Kennedy June 7.

Both were suspended from the team in the wake of their arrests.

Nunn is finishing his junior year and, according to Bruno, the UI's discipline process is ongoing.

"As far as I understand, it's not complete and no decision has been made as to whether there would be any punishment (from the UI)," Bruno said.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Nunn had taken responsibility for his actions and recently has been working with Rev. Willie Comer's midnight basketball program.

"(Comer) has worked directly with Kendrick and I'm very appreciative of Rev. Comer's work and effort," Rietz said. "Rev. Comer tells me Kendrick is taking responsibility for his actions and making important changes in his life."

According to a DIA spokesperson, Nunn's status with the men's basketball program will remain unchanged until athletic director Josh Whitman and coach John Groce have had a chance to review and discuss his case.

The junior guard has been suspended indefinitely since his March 17 arrest.

Nunn missed the first five games of the 2015-16 season recovering from a preseason thumb injury and missed Illinois’ game at Michigan State for the birth of his son. He averaged 15.5 points and 5 rebounds per game for the season, while crossing the 1,000-point career scoring mark.

Nunn is the second basketball player this spring to have his criminal case resolved by a guilty plea.

Leron Black, 20, a sophomore from Memphis, pleaded guilty in April to misdemeanor aggravated assault, admitting he pulled a folding knife on a bouncer at an Urbana nightclub in February. He was sentenced to conditional discharge, which means the misdemeanor conviction will follow him for life.


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).