A man with a bank robbery conviction faces a misdemeanor charge for entering an East Peoria home whose owner shot him early last Christmas morning.


Casey Rice, 30, formerly of Pekin, was ordered to appear in court next month with his wife, Jordan, 27, on charges of criminal trespass to a residence stemming from the bizarre incident.


Rice recovered from the wound to his left shoulder that homeowner Christopher Cecil inflicted after Cecil, 51, and his girlfriend awoke to sounds and found the couple lurking in the home illuminated only by their Christmas tree’s lights.


Rice told police the couple thought they were entering the home of a relative, who lives three blocks from Cecil’s home in the 100 block of Stahl Avenue. The front door was unlocked, he said. Police found no signs of forced entry.


Cecil said the door was locked, and Rice was holding a cast iron burner from his stove when the two confronted each other in his dark hallway.


Cecil had retrieved his .357-caliber pistol from his dresser and opened his bedroom door to find Jordan Rice within reach. She screamed at him as he threw and pinned her to the floor, he said. Rice stepped towards him, ignoring Cecil’s orders to stop and “Get on the ground.”


When Rice veered towards the bedroom, where Cecil’s girlfriend remained, Cecil fired once, sending Rice to the floor, he said. Police soon responded to the girlfriend’s 911 call.


A felony charge of trespass or home invasion would allege a defendant knew a residence was occupied, Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz said shortly after the shooting.


Casey Rice, who with his wife listed Carbondale addresses, was released on parole last July after serving about half of a nine-year prison term imposed in March 2012 for aggravated robbery of a Herget Bank branch in Pekin the previous December. He had spent most of the previous seven years in prison on convictions including battery, forgery and possessing drugs.


Rice and his wife have remained free since the trespass charges were filed on April 5. They’re due to appear in court on the case on May 15.


The Peoria Journal Star contributed to this article
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