Kewanee man receives prison for domestic battery

By John A. Ballentine

Thomas A Phelps, 46, of Kewanee was sentenced Friday by Circuit Judge Thomas A. Keith to four years in prison for being guilty of a Class 3 felony domestic battery. A Class 3 felony is punishable from two to five years’ incarceration in State prison. Phelps was also fined $377 in court costs and fines.

Phelps was convicted last October of the September, 2016 domestic battery because he “knowingly made contact of an insulting and provoking nature with Lisa M. Phelps (his then wife) and shoved her to the ground at a North Henderson Street residence, in Toulon.”

Phelps’ charge was a felony because he has at least three prior convictions for domestic battery. Stark County State’s Attorney James D. Owens said, “Mr. Phelps’ Henry County cases prove an underlying history of domestic batteries. He also has a violation of an order of protection.”

Owens pointed out that, “Mr. Phelps has been involved for 27 years in court cases. He violates people.” Phelps’ past convictions enhanced this domestic battery charge to a Class 3 felony from a misdemeanor charge. Owens requested that Phelps be given five years in prison.

Phelps was convicted in 1995 on one count of domestic battery in Henry County and convicted of two counts of domestic battery in 2001 of Henry County domestic battery. He has spent at least two past stints in the Illinois Department of Corrections for various guilty convictions.

Keith, upon sentencing Phelps to prison, was asked by Phelps if he “could have time to get my affairs in order. I didn’t think I was going to prison. I need to see my kids and also tell them at work. Is there any way possible for me to have some time?”

Keith told Phelps that he would have to report to the Stark County jail Monday morning for intake and transfer to the Illinois Department of Corrections. Before Keith granted the weekend reprieve for Phelps, he took into consideration that Phelps appeared previously for every one of his court proceedings.

Phelps reported early Monday morning to the Stark County jail for incarceration after his weekend to get his affairs in order.

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