ELGIN – An Appellate Court ruling reversed a jury trial conviction for a Batavia man, even though he already completed his prison sentence.
William J. Colborn was convicted in February 2007 of violating an order of protection and criminal trespass to a residence, after a jury trial. The jury also acquitted Colborn on an unlawful restraint charge.
But last December, the 2nd District Appellate Court reversed Colborn’s conviction, claiming there was not enough evidence presented by the state. The ruling was never disclosed on the court’s Web site because it did not meet certain criteria set for posting such documents.
Colborn was first arrested in July 2006 after a five-hour standoff with Sheriff’s deputies at his grandmother’s Batavia home. The home on McKee Street was included on an order of protection against Colborn, obtained by other relatives.
When police were called to the home, they tried to negotiate with Colborn and eventually entered with K9 dogs, who bit Colborn in the groin before he was arrested, according to court records.
Before Colborn stood trial, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found unfit to stand trial, court records show. He was later deemed fit, prompting the jury trial.
Evidence about Colborn’s mental state was not allowed at trial.
His grandmother testified that Colborn did not restrain her, but she was afraid to leave the home.
After the conviction, Colborn was sentenced to three years in prison in April after a judge denied his request for a new trial. Because of credit for time served in the Kane County Jail and sentencing laws, Colborn served a few months, was released on parole and last year completed his parole.
The Appellate Court found that Colborn did not violate the order of protection because the people listed on the order were not present in the home when he was there, the ruling states. The court further found that the state did not prove Colborn was at the home without permission, and therefore was not trespassing.
Kane County prosecutors were not available for comment Friday.
Colborn’s attorney at trial, Kathleen Colton, called the ruling a “moral victory.”
“Even though [Colborn] served his sentence, he never should have been convicted in the first place,” she said.