A 33-year-old Lake in the Hills man was sentenced to prison Wednesday in connection with a 2018 residential burglary.
McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge sentenced Peter Sova to the minimum of four years in prison for entering another family’s home while wearing a ski mask, bandanna and sunglasses.
Sova must complete 50% of his sentence and will receive credit for any time he already has served at the McHenry County Jail. That leaves about two years of remaining prison time that Sova must complete to satisfy his sentence.
The judge also recommended that Sova receive alcohol abuse treatment in prison and noted that he is eligible for Illinois’ Impact Incarceration Program. Sometimes referred to as “boot camp,” impact incarceration is an intervention program that could further reduce a person’s sentence. Whether Sova receives alcohol treatment or attends boot camp is up to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Coppedge found Sova guilty of residential burglary and criminal trespass to property in May after a trial by judge. He also acquitted Sova of multiple misdemeanor counts of battery.
The situation that led to Sova’s arrest began on Dec. 15, 2018.
During a police interview, Sova told officers that he entered another family’s home by mistake while walking back to Lake in the Hills from Huntley, his attorney Jeffrey Altman said at trial.
The homeowner had several guests over that night, and witnesses testified at trial that Sova announced he was there for “cash” or money.
“A family’s home is meant to be a safe haven,” McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Tyler Mikan said in court Wednesday.
An altercation ensued when the homeowners tried to detain Sova, but because he was not the aggressor, Coppedge found Sova not guilty of the related four misdemeanor counts of battery.
Given a chance to speak in court Wednesday, Sova apologized for his actions, calling them “unacceptable.”
“I’m embarrassed, disappointed, shameful and deeply apologetic,” Sova said.
Several acquaintances also submitted letters on Sova’s behalf, calling him “a good man,” said Coppedge, who read the letters in private.
“You are indeed a good man,” Coppedge said. “Sadly, in our society, good men make mistakes.”
Despite what the judge referred to as a “substantial period of time” during which Sova led a law-abiding life, the man’s criminal history and the severity of the conviction made a prison sentence appropriate, Coppedge said.
Altman asked the judge to sentence Sova to probation based on a finding that alcohol contributed to the crime being committed. The law Altman was referencing, however, only applies to situations where drugs, not alcohol, were a contributing factor, Coppedge said.
Sova remained at the McHenry County Jail on Wednesday afternoon awaiting transportation to prison.