URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted he tried to strangle a woman he was dating a year ago has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Reginald Britton Oct. 30


Reginald Britton, 32, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Hobson Drive, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning before Judge Roger Webber. A jury had been selected Monday to hear his trial on charges of aggravated domestic battery, unlawful restraint and domestic battery, but Britton pleaded guilty to the aggravated domestic battery before opening statements.

Britton admitted that on Sept. 6, 2018, while at the Juniper Drive home of his 52-year-old girlfriend, he choked her so hard that she urinated on herself. The other two counts were dismissed in return for his plea.

Assistant State’s Attorney Will Lynch on Monday asked Webber to admonish Britton about the possibility of an extended prison term based on his actions constituting “wanton cruelty.”

Lynch said the victim was prepared to testify that among the alleged activities Britton engaged in over a period of two to three days in her home was pushing her over as she sat in a recliner and holding a lit blowtorch to her face. He was also alleged to have kept her blocked in her bedroom by propping a recliner chair against her door and sleeping in it.

A Rantoul police report about the incident said Britton had also allegedly taken the woman’s cellphone and keys.

Lynch said the woman did not suffer facial injuries.

Britton was given credit for 297 days already served while waiting for his case to be resolved. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Abby Causer.

Lynch said Britton’s prior convictions included possession of cocaine, delivery of cannabis, burglary, battery and public indecency. Those were all from Georgia, the prosecutor said.