Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 3, 2014

Wyckoff faces stipulated bench trial

EFFINGHAM — An Effingham man is going to be tried on charges similar to those initially filed last September in connection with an alleged attack on a woman.

David G. Wyckoff, 22, had originally been charged with aggravated domestic battery in connection with an alleged attack on a woman last September 1. He was later indicted by an Effingham County grand jury on a number of other charges, including attempted murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual abuse.

Most of the old charges were dropped Thursday during a brief hearing in Judge Kimberly Koester's courtroom. In their stead, State's Attorney Bryan Kibler re-filed the original aggravated domestic battery charge, as well as aggravated battery.

Wyckoff, who had been scheduled to stand trial on the charges beginning Monday, instead waived his right to a jury trial and will appear at a stipulated bench trial set for 1 p.m. August 6.

In a stipulated bench trial, the prosecution and defense agree on the facts of the case, leaving the judge to determine guilt or innocence. In Wyckoff's case, Koester must also determine whether the defendant and alleged victim were in a relationship at the time of the alleged attack.

That determination will be significant because aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony that will enable Wyckoff, if convicted and sentenced to prison, to receive day-for-day credit. Aggravated domestic battery, on the other hand, is a Class 2 felony, in which the defendant — if convicted — must serve at least 75 percent of his sentence. Moreover, the sentencing range for a Class 2 is three to seven years, compared to two to five years on a Class 3.

Defense attorney Lou Viverito told Koester he had gone over the options with his client, while Kibler reported that the alleged victim had been consulted at length before Thursday's hearing.

Bill Grimes may be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com, or via Twitter @EDNBGrimes.

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