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Sanjay J. Lewis Enters Open Plea of Guilty Wednesday in White County Court

Sanjay J. Lewis, 46, of Grayville, entered an open plea of guilty, Wednesday, to the offense of Aggravated Domestic Battery, a class 2 felony, and Aggravated Battery, a class 3 felony. Due to his prior criminal history, Lewis qualifies to be sentenced as a “habitual offender” on the class 2 felony offense of Aggravated Domestic Battery which means that he will not be sentenced as a class 2 felony offense which has a standard sentencing range of 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections or an extended range of 7-14 years; rather, as a “habitual offender”, he is sentenced as though he committed a class X offense, which has a standard sentencing range of 6-30 years or an extended range of 30-60 years if the Court finds that an aggravating factor is present and that said finding is applicable to achieve an extended range sentencing of a “habitual offender”; the State believes that he is eligible for an extended range sentence and therefore will be asking the Court to make the finding that Lewis’s actions were accompanied by exceptionally brutal and heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty. In essence, Lewis is definitely looking at a possible sentence of 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and a possible sentence of 6-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections; the sentence on the Aggravated Domestic Battery would require him to serve at least 85% of the sentence that the Court ultimately imposes on him and 4 years of mandatory supervised release (formerly known as “parole”). He is eligible to be sentenced to 2-10 years on the Aggravated Battery offense.

 

The case has been set for a sentencing hearing on January 25, 2021, in White County Court, in front of Judge T. Scott Webb who accepted Lewis’s guilty pleas Wednesday morning. At the sentencing hearing, State’s Attorney Denton Aud will present evidence on behalf of the State with Public Defender Brian Shinkle presenting evidence on behalf of the defense before they make arguments as to what sentence they believe should be imposed. Ultimately, the judge will decide what the appropriate sentence is. The State agreed to dismiss the other counts in exchange for the open pleas of guilty; the victims have been directly or indirectly included in the proceedings and were supportive of Wednesday’s resolution.

 

In pleading guilty, Lewis admitted that the evidence showed that on March 17, 2020, Lewis committed the offense of Aggravated Domestic Battery in that he knowingly and without legal justification caused great bodily harm to Savannah Earl, girlfriend of Lewis, in that Lewis stabbed her multiple times with a knife. Lewis also admitted that on March 17, 2020, he committed the offense of Aggravated Battery in that he, while using a deadly weapon, a knife, committed a battery in that he intentionally stabbed Paige York in the stomach with a knife.

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