Owenby Sentenced to 22 Years in IDOC for 2019 Aggravated Domestic Battery

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 5, 2023 at 1:58pm

A former Ashland resident was given a lengthy prison sentence in Cass County Court Friday morning after being found guilty of battery in March. 55-year-old Kevin L. Ownbey appeared in Cass County Circuit Court for sentencing this morning.

Ownbey was found guilty by a jury of two counts of class 2 felony aggravated domestic battery stemming from incidents over a purported three-day period in October of 2019 where Ownbey was accused of strangling and sexually assaulting his then-live-in girlfriend, Amy M. Gotschall.

Ownbey faced seven counts in all during the trial and was found not guilty of counts of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual assault.

Cass County Circuit Judge Timothy J. Wessel said several factors figured in his sentencing decision, including Gotschall’s being disabled with Cerebral palsy, and Owneby’s criminal history which included serving time in IDOC in three separate cases with separate victims dating back to the 1980s.

Owenby faced between 3 and 14 years for each count and was ultimately sentenced to serve 11 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for each count. Judge Wessel ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, with 85% truth in sentencing to apply, meaning the 55-year-old Owenby will be incarcerated for the better part of two decades before he is eligible for release.

Cass County State’s Attorney Craig Miller says he was pleased with the court’s decision in the case. “The judge did a very good job of explaining on the record everything that he took into account. I think that the sentence he imposed on the defendant is fair and just from what he outlined on the record.”

Miller asked the court for a max sentence of 14 years for each count to be served consecutively, while Owneby’s defense attorney Bart E. Beals of Chicago asked for a sentence of five years each to be served concurrently.

Miller says the court taking Owenby’s violent history into consideration in the sentence helps keep the public and the victim safe. “I think it’s a very good thing for Cass County and society as a whole that a violent offender with his sort of history is now incarcerated for a lengthy period of time.

With that being said, and I stated this in arguments, I don’t think any sort of sentence will take away or depreciate the mental and physical harm that Amy [Gotschall] had, but it gives her some sort of closure, even if it’s little.”

Beals said following the sentencing that Owenby plans to appeal the decision and sentence. Motions for a new trial and or dismissal of the charges filed by Beals ahead of time on grounds that the victim perjured herself during the trial were denied by Wessel prior to sentencing.