SYCAMORE – Martin Quintana did not want to be sent to prison Thursday before he asked the judge multiple questions about his sentence.
Quintana, 22, of the 300 block of South Eighth Street, DeKalb, was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty Oct. 18 to criminal sexual assault and aggravated domestic battery. Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on the sentence.
He admitted to raping and trying to strangle his one-time girlfriend with a shoelace in March 2013. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped more serious charges of attempted murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault. If convicted of attempted murder, Quintana would have been sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison.
Judge Robbin Stuckert asked Quintana to sign paperwork he had already signed because previously there had been a concern with his mental fitness. However, a doctor submitted an evaluation showing Quintana was mentally fit.
"I prefer not to sign again," Quintana said. "I've already signed it once."
Defense attorney Clay Campbell pulled Quintana aside to talk to him, and Quintana eventually signed the documents. Quintana also asked Stuckert multiple questions, including asking to see the specific statute detailing the sentencing rules. Prosecutor Jessica Finley gave Quintana a thick book showing him the statute.
Quintana originally was scheduled to be sentenced in December, but that was delayed because Campbell had concerns on whether Quintana was mentally fit to plead guilty. Quintana was being held in Kendall County Jail, where he cut his arms and was put on suicide watch.
Stuckert decided in November to allow authorities to pursue a mental evaluation to discern whether to take back his plea agreement, which ultimately did not happen.