Police & Courts

Jury finds Liberty man guilty of one count of home invasion

John Martineau
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 12, 2017 5:00 pm Updated: Sep. 12, 2017 5:04 pm

QUINCY -- A Liberty man faces between six and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after an Adams County jury found him guilty Tuesday of one count of home invasion with a dangerous weapon.

The jury took about 20 minutes after the second day of testimony to return the verdict in the trial of John Martineau, 53, who was found not guilty of home invasion with a firearm in connection with an April 18 home invasion at a Liberty residence.

Martineau was accused of entering the home of Ricky Liesen and threatening him with a knife and a gun. Prosecutors said Martineau forced the barrel of a handgun in Liesen's mouth and then rubbed the blade of a knife on his neck and face, leaving cuts. Martineau was reportedly angered that Liesen had provided information on him to police officers in a different case.

During closing arguments, Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the state's attorney's office, told jurors that they should trust Liesen's testimony and that of his neighbor Ken Brady, who both testified Monday.

"There is one person in this courtroom that couldn't keep his story straight, and that person is sitting right there," Jones said, pointing to Martineau. "He couldn't tell the same story to police."

He noted that Martineau's story changed multiple times during an interview with Adams County Sheriff's Department investigators.

"We didn't find the firearm, but we know the defendant had plenty of time to get rid of it," Jones said. "Why would (Liesen) make up the gun?"

Martineau's attorney, Public Defender Babs Brennan, said testimony showed that the two men were friends who had fished and drank beer together before having a falling out. She said Liesen made no indication to Martineau that he wasn't allowed at the home.

"His body language was an invitation," Brennan said. "He didn't say, ‘What are you doing here or get lost.' "

She noted that a gun was never found and that Martineau was cooperative with law officers, allowing them to search his house, property and truck.

Besides playing a portion of Martineau's interview with the Sheriff's Department, two forensic scientists with the Illinois State Police's Springfield crime lab testified.

Jennifer Aper testified that blood on the blade of the knife matched Liesen's and that DNA on the handle of the knife matched Martineau's.

Martineau's wife, Teresa Martineau, was the only defense witness. She testified that Martineau did not own any firearms and even the BB guns at their home belonged to their grandchildren.

She also testified that John Martineau was left-handed and used his left hand for everything.

Liesen had testified that Martineau had hit him with his right hand and threatened him with the firearm and knife, which were in his right hand.

Martineau is set to be sentenced Nov. 2. Had he been convicted of the firearm charge, he would have faced 21 to 45 years in prison.

He is being held in the Adams County Jail.

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