A Morton man’s legal troubles have worsened since he was shot last Christmas morning after entering an East Peoria man’s home.
Casey Rice, 30, appeared Thursday morning in court on the misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge stemming from that incident.
He was back several hours later to answer to two new felony theft-related charges that could return the convicted bank robber to prison.
Rice pleaded not guilty to the unrelated charges of retail theft and possession of a state-issued credit card that was in the custody of Rice’s mother but in the name of a client in her work with the Human Service Center in Peoria.
In the latter case, Rice’s mother awoke in her Morton home on Aug. 20 to find $60 missing from her purse and the credit card gone from her vehicle. Evidence revealed that Rice, who had stayed overnight with a friend at his mother’s home, made several purchases with the card over the next two days, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit.
Those alleged thefts came two weeks after Rice was released on a notice to appear in court following his arrest for allegedly stealing cellphone chargers from the Walmart Supercenter in East Peoria.
Rice and his wife, Jordan, now of Carbondale, face up to one year in jail if they’re convicted of the trespassing charge stemming from their bizarre encounter with the East Peoria man in his home in the 100 block of Stahl Avenue early last Christmas.
Christopher Cecil, 51, said he and his girlfriend awoke to noises in the home. He retrieved his handgun from his dresser, opened the bedroom door and found the Rices lurking in the hallway illuminated only by their Christmas tree’s lights, he said.
Jordan Rice screamed at him as he threw and pinned her to the floor, he said. Rice, holding a cast iron burner from the home’s stove, ignored Cecil’s order to “get on the ground,” Cecil said. When he veered toward the bedroom where Cecil’s girlfriend remained, Cecil shot Casey Rice once in the left shoulder.
The Rices told police they had walked from a party at a nearby home and thought they had entered the home of a relative, who lives three blocks from Cecil’s home. While Cecil said his door had been locked, police found no signs of forced entry.
Rice had recently been paroled from his nine-year prison term imposed in March 2012 for aggravated robbery of a Herget Bank branch in Pekin the previous September.
The couple will next appear in court Nov. 6 on the trespassing case. Rice was permitted Thursday to remain free on a personal recognizance bond pending his next court appearance Oct. 30 on the two felony charges.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin