An Edwardsville man pleaded guilty to home invasion in return for dismissal of a sexual assault charge Friday in Madison County court.
John M. Buckey, 29, pleaded guilty to home invasion Friday. He was accused of breaking into a woman’s home in Glen Carbon on Dec. 17, 2014, and putting her in a headlock, then striking her in the face with his fists. The woman reportedly suffered a bloody lip and scratches.
Buckey’s fingerprints were found on a pack of cigarettes left in the woman’s bed, according to prosecutor Chad Loughrey.
The home invasion charge is a class X felony, and he will serve 15 years in prison, followed by three years of probation. He must serve at least 50 percent of his sentence, or seven and one-half years. He was also charged with attempted sexual assault, which was dismissed as part of his plea deal.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
At the same time, Buckey pleaded guilty to possession of burglary tools, to serve three years concurrently with the sentence for the home invasion.
Other pending charges, including felony stalking and unlawful use of weapons, were dismissed. The prosecution also agreed not to charge him with another, prior home invasion at the same address, in which he was implicated.
“I think it’s a fair disposition,” Loughrey said. He said while Buckey has no prior felonies, he clearly poses a threat to the community. In each case, he said, Buckey broke into the houses and attacked residents, but did not steal anything of which they are aware.
“It’s frightening to think what could potentially happen,” Loughrey said.
It’s frightening to think what could potentially happen.
Chad Loughrey, Assistant State’s Attorney
At the time, there was a string of home invasions in Cherry Hills in which a man broke into the houses and stole something, behaved in an odd manner, or on one occasion, struck a female resident and attempted to strangle her. There was another Edwardsville home invasion in late 2013 in which a man broke into a woman’s home and physically assaulted her, rendering her unconscious.
Loughrey said Buckey was a suspect in those cases, but there was no direct evidence strong enough to charge him.
Buckey has remained in custody at the Madison County Jail since his arrest in 2014. He will receive credit for the time he has already served.