URBANA — A Danville man who entered a Rantoul home in December while under the influence and stabbed a man after following the man’s teenager home has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“If you attack a family in their home, your next home is the Department of Corrections,” Judge Heidi Ladd told Willie Barfield.
The 24-year-old pleaded guilty in February to home invasion, admitting that on Dec. 15, he forced his way into a home on Juniper Drive and stabbed a resident in the shoulder.
That bizarre behavior came after he approached a teen boy who was outside playing with friends. Barfield had a knife in his hand and made incoherent comments, sending the frightened child inside, where his mother and stepfather were.
Moments later, Barfield kicked in the door and got into a struggle with the 39-year-old stepfather, cutting the man’s shoulder with a folding knife.
Barfield’s sentencing was delayed because of the courthouse shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferink agreed to cap her sentencing recommendation for Barfield at 10 years, even though he faced up to 30. She also agreed to dismiss another count of aggravated battery to a peace officer.
Barfield had been charged with biting the leg of a sergeant at the county jail who, with three other police officers, was trying to get the uncooperative Barfield into the jail from the Rantoul squad car.
Alferink told Ladd that Barfield’s criminal history went back to 2006, when he was first adjudicated a delinquent minor for aggravated battery. She said he had four previous convictions as a minor and as an adult for aggravated battery and was on parole for that crime when he committed the home invasion.
“He’s been using drugs most of his life and has an anger problem,” Alferink said.
Public Defender Janie Miller-Jones asked for the minimum six-year prison sentence, saying that Barfield has had behavioral issues because his father died when he was only 7 and he started abusing alcohol and drugs at age 10.
She noted that he had heroin on him when arrested and that he needs help for substance abuse.
Although they were not present, Barfield apologized to the family he harmed and said he intended to “take this time to really get myself right.”
He was given credit on his sentence for 193 days already served.