Crime & Courts

Harvard man sentenced to prison for 2019 stabbing

Edwin Plants, 44, of Harvard
Edwin Plants, 44, of Harvard

A Harvard man was sentenced to prison Wednesday for stabbing another man in the abdomen during a 2019 argument.

During a lengthy statement that Edwin W. Plants read aloud in court Wednesday, the 44-year-old asked to be sentenced to probation.

Plants pleaded guilty but mentally ill in August to a felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. In exchange for Plants’ blind plea, prosecutors dismissed a single count of attempted murder.

Although Plants’ attorney described the stabbing as an “explosion of anger,” McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge sentenced Plants to 30 months in prison.

“Mr. Plants, I do wish you the best of luck sir. I hope you find guidance and recovery,” Coppedge said.

Plants was arrested following a Nov. 19, 2019, stabbing in the 600 block of Grant Street. The man’s attorney, Philip Prossnitz, provided the judge with a video of stabbing, which appeared to take place during a fight between Plants and the victim.

“I think he was severely provoked,” Prossnitz said in court.

The tension had been building between the men for weeks leading up to the stabbing, Plants said.

The victim, a mutual friend of Plants and his girlfriend, was going through a divorce. Over time, the man began acting “very friendly” toward Plants’ girlfriend and eventually asked her to leave Plants, Plants said.

About two hours before the stabbing, Plants took a paring knife from the kitchen and put it in his bedroom, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Ashur Youash said.

Plants then retrieved the knife while he and the victim were arguing and stabbed the man in the abdomen, prosecutors said.

“Everything happened so fast,” Plants said in court. “I don’t even remember stabbing him.”

Plants offered an apology Wednesday, noting that he lost his girlfriend, job and car as a result of his arrest.

“I am deeply sorry,” Plants said. “I’m just glad [the victim’s] injuries were not worse than they were.”

The stabbing sent the man to Javon Bea Hospital in Rockford where he was treated for injuries. The victim chose not to attend Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors said.

Plants suffers from several conditions including bipolar disorder and anxiety, he said. Plants additionally underwent a psychological evaluation before pleading guilty but mentally ill. The finding that is different than an insanity plea and places Plants’ mental health care in the hands of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

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