A recent plea deal in a residential burglary and aggravated battery case in Greene County Court has caused a rift between the Carrollton Chief of Police and the Greene County State’s Attorney.
Carrollton Police Chief Mike McCartney told the Greene Prairie Press this past week that he’s angry that 22 year old Alexander M. McAdams of Fieldon was given the option of impact incarceration after pleading guilty to aggravated battery.
McAdams was arrested by Carrollton Police on the evening of July 18th after the victim, Craig Baumgartner who agreed to talk to the Greene Prairie Press, walked to a neighbor’s house after being severely beaten during a robbery. According to the paper’s report, McAdams along with another individual went to Baumgartner’s house to take a vacuum cleaner. Baumgartner refused to lone the item and then was beaten about the head first with fists and then with a chair, ultimately breaking Baumgartner’s jaw and fracturing his skull. Baumgartner was eventually transferred to a Springfield trauma center for his injuries due to loss of blood and the severity of his injuries.
McCartney told the Greene Prairie Press that the investigation into the incident produced one of the best sets of evidence in a case he had worked in his 37 years of law enforcement. Baumgartner also agreed to testify and identify McAdams in open court in the case.
McCarney and Baumgartner both told the Greene Prairie Press that they believed that Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe had negotiated a plea for McAdams to receive 8 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
According to court records, McAdams pled guilty to the aggravated assault charge, a Class 3 felony, and received a sentence of 8 years in IDOC, credit for 75 days served in the Greene County Jail, up to 1 year of mandatory supervised release, and recommendation for impact incarceration. The burglary charge was dropped per the plea.
According to Illinois statutes, if an individual qualifies for impact incarceration, or boot camp, a normally “non violent” offender is sentenced to the program for a minimum term of 3-6 months. Should an offender not be able to complete their sentence, they must serve their full IDOC sentence.
McCartney says, due to the nature of the crime and some other recent unnamed disagreements with plea deals for criminals in Greene County Court, he says State’s Attorney Briscoe has taken the easy way out and is not protecting citizens of the county. McCartney pointed to the lack of jury trials. McCartney told the Greene Prairie Press that he called Briscoe after he found out about the plea agreement and had an argument with him over the phone.
State’s Attorney Briscoe responded via email in a request for comment on the situation. Here are his full comments:
“I agree with Chief McCartney in that we had a very strong case against Mr. McAdams on the Aggravated Battery. Aggravated Battery is a Class 3 Felony, with a typical maximum penalty of five (5) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Anyone in law enforcement, and certainly those who have been a victim of that crime, know that the statutorily prescribed five (5) year max is an injustice that the legislature needs to fix. In this case, we were able to get the Court to agree to a sentence that was three (3) more than than the standard maximum sentence. We discussed that disposition with Mr. Baumgartner, as we do with all victims in cases. The impact incarceration, or boot camp, recommendation was originally proposed by Defense Counsel and was ultimately adopted by the Court. The Defendant is not automatically placed into that program upon his sentence to the Department of Corrections, and I am confident that the Department of Corrections will not adopt the recommendation, and the Defendant will serve the eight (8) year sentence. To be clear, the Defendant is 22 years old, with one prior felony conviction in his adult criminal history, as opposed to the information previously reported.
“This is a very difficult and frustrating time for all of us in law enforcement in Greene County, and throughout Illinois. The implementation of the SAFE-T Act, which eliminates cash bail, and also imposes several other requirements on law enforcement, with limited guidance or forethought as to the long term impact, is only a few months away from going into effect and it has all of us on edge. I am disappointed that Chief McCartney, who I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for, let that frustration explode into the public forum, and did not attempt to discuss this issue with me directly in a professional or personal manner, which is an opportunity I have always afforded him when I disagreed with his, or his department’s, actions. I hope that Chief McCartney and I can work past this, and continue to work together for the people of Carrollton, and Greene County.”