A Streator man convicted of trying to kill his then-girlfriend with a samurai sword lost his appeal Friday and will continue serving a 22-year sentence.
William J. Milian, 37, was charged in summer 2014 when he argued with his then-girlfriend inside his Streator residence and repeatedly swung a samurai sword at her head. The victim sustained defensive wounds to her arms before fleeing the scene. The attack left her disabled.
Milian pleaded guilty to attempted murder and aggravated battery. At sentencing, Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. settled on 22 years, citing in part Milian’s criminal history. That included felony aggravated battery in Illinois (he served four years in prison) as well as multiple misdemeanors and driving offenses from Florida.
“The extent of the injury is what I put my weight on, not the fact that an injury was part of the charge,” Ryan said at sentencing. “There’s disability that’s going to be permanent apparently it appears and so the extent of the injury is severe.”
Milian appealed twice. The first time, the appeals court threw out the 22-year prison term on a technicality; but at fresh proceedings Ryan again gave him 22 years. Milian appealed again, this time arguing Ryan abused his discretion and unduly considered a misdemeanor charge in Milian’s record.
The charge in question was improper exhibit of a firearm or dangerous weapon from Florida, punishable there by probation and diversion. Milian also argued his lawyers provided ineffective assistance.
The 3rd District Appellate Court didn’t see it that way. In a Friday opinion written by Justice Tom Lytton, the appeals court ruled Ryan was within his rights to consider a lengthy sentence.
“(Milian’s) 22-year prison sentence for attempted murder is within the statutory range for that offense,” Lytton wrote. “Therefore, the sentence is presumptively valid.”
As for the Florida weapon issue, the justices said Ryan and the prosecutors only referred to the offense as a “charge” and therefore didn’t mistake the offense as a conviction for which Ryan would have increased Milian’s prison time.
“Viewing (Ryan’s) statements as a whole, the most heavily considered factors were (Milian’s) felony aggravated battery conviction and the particularly serious facts of the present case,” Lytton wrote, adding later, “Therefore, (Milian) cannot show that (Ryan) relied on an improper factor in aggravation and abused its discretion when imposing defendant’s sentence.”
And because there was no merit to abused of discretion, the justices ruled, there was no basis for Milian to claim his lawyers were ineffective.
Milian is scheduled for parole in 2033, when he will be 48 years old.
Source: The Daily Chronicle