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Crime & Courts

Sycamore police: Facebook dispute leads to stabbing

SYCAMORE – A political argument that started on Facebook ended with a Sycamore man being stabbed in the chest and cut on the hand early Sunday, authorities said.


A 21-year-old Sycamore man sent Robert A. Church, 24, of the 1400 block of Larson Street in Sycamore, a Facebook message about 4:30 a.m. Sunday indicating he wanted to beat him after the two had debated political issues online, authorities said.


Church provided the younger man his address, court records show. When the victim showed up at Church's home, the two men wrestled. When the victim saw Church had a knife in each hand, he asked: "Are you serious?"


Church sliced the victim's hand as they struggled over the knives, court records show. Church swung a knife at the younger man's neck, missed, and suggested the victim leave, court records indicate. When he didn't, Church stabbed the man in the chest, puncturing his lung, court records show.


The victim had a friend take him to Kishwaukee Community Hospital, where he remained in good condition Monday morning, police said.


Church told police that he never feared for his life and that he prepared the knives for the fight before the victim arrived at his home, court records show.


Church was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, which typically is punishable with probation or up to five years in prison. Church was sentenced April 22 to 18 months of conditional discharge, or nonreporting probation, and 240 hours of public service for driving drunk in April 2012, court records show.


His bail was set at $50,000, which requires posting $5,000 for release while the new case is pending. He is next due in court Wednesday.


The investigation in ongoing, but no charges had been filed against the victim Monday, Sycamore Police Lt. Darrell Johnson said.

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