CHARLESTON — Counseling and reimbursement for medical expenses were terms of the sentence for a man who stabbed another man during a fight in Charleston four years ago.
Christopher X. Bickcom was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to an aggravated battery charge in connection with the Feb. 5, 2017, incident.
Bickcom, 28, for whom records show addresses in Lansing in the Chicago area and in the Redmond, Washington, area, was also ordered evaluated to determine substance abuse treatment needed.
Police identified Bickcom as a suspect immediately after the stabbing, which took place in the parking of Olde Town Apartments at 1414 Sixth St. He wasn't located for an arrest until about two weeks later.
The other man was stabbed several times in his upper body and was hospitalized but recovered, according to police.
A prison sentence of two to 10 years would also have been possible for Bickcom with the conviction.
Coles County State’s Attorney Jesse Danley said he didn't believe Bickcom's actions amounted to self defense, but there were circumstances that led him to agree to a probation sentence.
Witnesses indicated that fight did take place, though there were accounts that the other man was on top of Bickcom and hitting him when the stabbing occurred, Danley said.
Some witnesses also said the other man uttered racial slurs toward Bickcom, who is Black, Danley added. The conviction and sentence were the best result for the case, he said.
Attorney Kevin Geisler, who represented Bickcom, wasn’t available for comment on the case.
The restitution for medical expenses that was part of Bickcom’s probation terms totaled just more than $6,000. His counseling will include treatment to specifically address anger management.
The probation terms also included no contact with the other man and about 5½ months of jail time that was stayed. That means Bickcom won’t have to serve the jail time now, but some or all of if could be imposed later as a sanction in case of violations.
Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick sentenced Bickcom based on the terms of the agreement Danley and Geisler recommended.
The case was delayed because Bickcom failed to appear at a scheduled court hearing in December 2017. After he was located, his next court appearance was in March of last year.