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Elgin man guilty of severely beating his girlfriend


An Elgin man will go to prison for battering and severely injuring his live-in girlfriend.

James E. Bell, 69 (d.o.b. 3-20-1946), of the 400 block of South Belmont Street, Elgin, was convicted Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, by Associate Judge David P. Kliment of aggravated domestic battery, a Class 2 felony, and domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor. Bell waived his right to a jury trial.

Prosecutors presented evidence that the evening of June 12, 2014, Bell and the victim, his live-in girlfriend, began to argue at the apartment they shared. The victim went into the bathroom, and Bell followed her and pushed her into the bathtub. She was able to get out of the tub and went back into the living room. Bell then grabbed her upper body and threw her onto the sofa, grabbed her again and threatened to kill her. Another resident of the apartment pulled Bell off the victim, and she tried to escape the apartment. Before she reached the door Bell grabbed her by the hair and flung her into the kitchen, where she struck the dishwasher and fell to the floor, suffering three pelvic fractures. The victim then was able to call a friend on her phone, and the friend called police. When the police arrived at the apartment, Bell initially told them the victim wasn’t at home.

In finding Bell guilty, Judge Kliment found that the victim suffered great bodily harm from the attack. The victim continues to suffer from the injuries.

Judge Kliment set Bell’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. April 15, 2016, in Courtroom 217 at the Kane County Judicial Center for motions and sentencing. Bell faces a sentence of between six and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Bell had been free on $2,450 bond. Bond was revoked upon conviction and Bell was taken into custody at the Kane County jail.

“Domestic violence affects everyone, and that is one reason we will pursue these cases aggressively. Mr. Bell’s physical attack was cowardly, and he must understand that violence in the home is unacceptable and there are consequences for it,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

“Our thanks to Elgin officers Green, Coffield, Arnold and Rosenston for their work in this case. Thanks also to the doctors from Presence St. Joseph Hospital who testified about the victim’s injuries and treatment, and to the team of Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Megan Baxter and Amy McGowan, who prosecuted this case.”

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