Man who showed up to court drunk for his own sentencing hearing gets nearly 5 years in prison

Law & Crime

A state court judge in Illinois last week admonished a 54-year-old man who admitted to cutting up a 52-year-old woman’s face with a knife, not over the violent attack, but because the defendant showed up to court noticeably drunk.

Following the drunken incident, McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Mark R. Gerhardt found Rogelio Cantu Jr. in contempt of court and later ordered him to serve 4 1/2 years in a state correctional facility for the 2022 slashing, records show.

According to a report from the Lake & McHenry County Scanner, Cantu was initially arrested in January 2022 and charged with one count of aggravated domestic battery, two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, one count of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, and two counts of enhanced domestic battery.

The newspaper reported that Cantu last month reached a deal with prosecutors in the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office in which he agreed to plead guilty to one count of felony aggravated domestic battery. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped all of the additional charges.

Cantu, who had been out of detention since posting bond about two weeks after the attack, showed up to the courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 29 for his sentencing hearing and was reportedly intoxicated. Gerhardt quickly ordered Cantu to report to the Department of Court Services and submit to a drug and alcohol screening test.

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