A Charleston man charged in an Effingham home invasion case pleaded guilty to residential burglary Monday.
Jamal M. Harris, 19, entered a negotiated plea to the Class 1 felony in Effingham County Circuit Court. As part of the plea agreement, charges of home invasion under the accountability theory, a Class X felony, and possession with intent to deliver more than 30 but less than 500 grams of cannabis, a Class 3 felony, were dismissed.
Per the plea, Harris was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with two years of mandatory supervision upon release.
Harris is a co-defendant in the home invasion case of a residence on South Linden Street in Effingham. Also arrested for the crime was Kaden Dedman, 22, of Sullivan. A minor has also been charged.
Authorities say that in the early morning hours of May 23, the female resident of the South Linden Street home was awakened by the sound of her front door opening.
The woman checked what was happening and witnessed two men entering her home. The female told police the men shouted, “Where are the ... drugs?” then took a bag containing a half pound of cannabis.
Harris, Dedman and the minor, along with a female driver, were later stopped in a vehicle by a sheriff’s deputy for a traffic matter. The driver told authorities she had taken her male passengers to a home on South Linden, where a home invasion took place.
Authorities say the driver, who was arrested on unrelated charges, told police that she saw all three males exit the vehicle prior to the home invasion. She said all three pulled up their hoods close to their faces and put on gloves.
Harris later told Effingham detectives that he knew Dedman and the minor were going to commit the home invasion to steal the drugs. He told authorities that he did not enter the home and instead waited in an alleyway.
Authorities say the other two defendants in the case pointed to Harris as one of the men who entered the home but noted that it is not clear which of the three men entered the home.
Harris did admit to officers that he was aware of the planned home invasion but insisted he did not enter the home.