A Joliet man who represented himself in his own trial, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for firing a rifle into a home that whizzed past the heads of four sleeping children, according to prosecutors.
On Friday, Judge Vincent Cornelius sentenced Deanthony Williamson, 32, of Joliet, to the 12-year prison sentence after convicting him of aggravated discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon by felon and possession of a firearm without a firearm owner’s identification card.
Williamson will receive 1,531 days credit for time already served while incarcerated.
On May 13, Cornelius had found Williamson guilty of those offenses following a bench trial that began May 10 and lasted about four days.
In 2018, Williamson shot a carbine rifle at a home on Hobbs Street in Joliet, according to a news release from Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s Office.
The bullet went through the outside wall, into the front upstairs bedroom and over the heads of four sleeping children.
“The indiscriminate firing of a weapon in the direction of a home with four innocent sleeping children is reflective of an abandoned and malignant heart. The defendant will have over a decade in prison to think about his criminal conduct that easily could have resulted in the loss of precious lives,” Glasgow said in a statement.
Following the shooting, Williamson then led police on a car chase after they attempted to pull him over for failing to stop at a stop sign, according to Glasgow’s office.
Williamson stopped, got out of the vehicle and led police on a foot chase, during which he threw the rifle over a fence, according to Glasgow’s office. After Williamson was apprehended, police recovered the high-powered rifle from the backyard on the other side of the fence.
Williamson was represented by several attorneys since 2018, but has been representing himself at various points in 2020, 2021 and this year.
On March 15, Williamson began representing himself again when his last attorney, Robert Lewin, decided to drop out of the case, court records show.
On Sept. 1, 2020, Williamson was found in direct criminal contempt for throwing documents across a holding room. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Williamson was found in direct criminal attempt again several months later when he repeatedly interrupted a court hearing and argued with a judge. He was again sentenced to 60 days in jail.
On May 2, about a week before trial, Williamson was once again found in direct criminal contempt for using profanities. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Glasgow commended the work of Will County Assistant State’s Attorneys Alyson Wozniak and Mark Shlifka, Victim Witness Advocate Dannette Pasdertz and the Joliet Police Department.