SOUTH BELOIT - The lone suspect to head to trial of five people charged in a June 2018 South Beloit home invasion has filed a motion requesting a new trial, according to the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office.
Antwon D. Smith, 39, of Rockford, was convicted on Jan. 22 following a trial on charges of home invasion, conspiracy to commit home invasion, residential burglary, possession of a stolen firearm and resisting an officer from a June 14, 2018 at a home in the 14000 block of Prairie Commons Lane.
Four others accepted plea deals in the case. Smith is the last person yet to be sentenced.
Smith, Cherita A. Hanson, 35, of Rockford, Charles J. McCanse, 35, of Mt. Morris, Illinois, Sallie M. Prince, 26, of Rockford, and Alec T. Pulley, 33, of Elgin, Illinois, all faced felony charges in the case. Hanson pleaded guilty to residential burglary on April 3. McCanse pleaded guilty to home invasion on July 29. Prince pleaded guilty to attempted residential burglary on Feb. 14. Pulley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit home invasion on Aug. 1, according to Winnebago County Court records.
McCanse and Pulley received the toughest sentences in the case, with McCanse being sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and Pulley sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, according to the state's attorney's office. Hanson and Prince were sentenced to two years probation, according to court records.
According to the South Beloit Police Department, a 52-year-old man and his teenage children were confronted by masked, armed suspects who demanded money. According to police reports, the incident occurred at around 2 a.m. on June 14, 2018, when a female acquaintance of the 52-year-old man came to his home to visit. She told the man a female friend was in her car and asked if she could come in. Shortly after that, three men wearing masks entered the home and restrained the homeowner and his teenage son and daughter. However, the man was able to break free and he and his 16-year-old son began fighting with the intruders. The man was able to take a knife from one of the suspects. He then stabbed one of the suspects, according to police.
Five days after the home invasion, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a home in the 3200 block of Alida Street in Rockford where the five were arrested.
Smith's motion for a new trial is scheduled to be heard on Sept. 13, according to the state's attorney's office.