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Prison sentence handed man who left baby in soybean field

May 14, 2019

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An 18-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois man found guilty but mentally ill of attempted murder and child abduction.

Thomas Boitnott of St. Joseph was accused of taking his then-6-month-old daughter from her home in 2015 and abandoning her in a soybean field in a rural part of town.

In handing down an 18-year sentence on Monday, The News-Gazette in Champaign reports Judge Jason Bohm said Boitnott’s daughter, now 4, should be an adult when he gets out of prison and can decide if her father is a part of her life.

In March 2016, Judge Tom Difanis found Boitnott guilty but mentally ill, going against a psychiatrist’s report that supported a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity. Difanis’ finding was reversed by an appellate court. But in March, Bohm made the same finding.

The 27-year-old Boitnott told Bohm he suffered from a “delusional disorder” the day of actions.