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Normal man sentenced for fight at party

Normal man sentenced for fight at party

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BLOOMINGTON — A Normal man was sentenced to two years of probation and 14 days in jail Monday for his involvement in a drunken melee last year.

David Bateman, 22, was one of four men who broke into an apartment and fought with a group of men on Sept. 11, 2005, during a fraternity party.

Bateman was initially charged with home invasion — a crime carrying a penalty of six to 30 years — but later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of battery in a negotiated plea agreement.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sandra Thompson on Monday argued Bateman was the first person to break into the apartment in the 600 block of Broadway in Normal.

Thompson, who asked for a 2½-year sentence, said the intruders kicked in the door, threw eggs and caused other damage while fighting in the home.

Bateman said the altercation started after the occupants of the home, standing on a balcony, spat on his group of friends during a fraternity party at a nearby apartment.

“I know what I did was wrong,” Bateman said, blaming the incident on his friends during Monday’s sentencing. “I’m not saying I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I was definitely with the wrong people.”

Prosecutors on Monday also tried to link Bateman, an Illinois State University student, to another battery that occurred near campus earlier in the night.

Police said another ISU student identified Bateman as the person who punched him in the face during an attempted robbery in the 300 block of School Street.

Bateman told Judge Ronald Dozier that one of his friends punched the victim after his group of friends got kicked out of a different party.

The attempted robbery charge against Bateman was dismissed as part of the plea agreement in the battery case, according to prosecutors.

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