Harsh sentence handed Collinsville man who twice robbed a veteran saving for surgery

A Collinsville man found guilty last month of twice breaking into a home and robbing about $1,200 from a Granite City military veteran, was sentenced to 42 years in a state prison Monday, plus an additional six months for contempt of court.

Jaleen Gladney, 28, was found guilty in December of home invasion causing injury, home invasion while armed with a firearm, attempted residential burglary and of possession of weapon by a felon.

Gladney, of Collinsville, represented himself in the trial. He originally was scheduled for sentencing last Wednesday, his birthday, but the hearing was delayed.

“This violent offender targeted and preyed upon a member of our community who should be venerated, not victimized,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine. “This was a despicable crime, and I thank the jury and the judge for issuing their verdict and this lengthy prison sentence.”

According to the criminal complaint, Gladney forced his way into the veteran’s home on 24th Street in Granite City on July 8 and on July 9. He attacked the resident, robbed the resident of money and property, and at one point threatened to shoot the resident, according to prosecutors.

A second home invasion to the same residence occurred just hours later. This time, the victim initially thought it was police officers at his door, returning as part of their investigation.

He got about $1,200 in the two heists, police said. Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine’s office said in a release that the victim was saving the money to have surgery.

Gladney was arrested on July 11 “when he was caught peering in the windows and attempting to enter the door of the victim’s home again,” according to the state’s attorney. “He was carrying a handgun and wearing a mask.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Morgan Hudson argued during the trial that Gladney saw his victim “as nothing more than prey – an easy target. And he had the audacity to prey on this hero, not once, not twice, but three times.”

Hudson asked the judge to impose a lengthy prison term, arguing that Gladney has a long history of burglaries, and that there was an “incredibly high” chance that the victim in this case could have been shot.

“This situation absolutely could have gone another way,” Hudson argued. “... This defendant has spent his entire life breaking into people’s homes, stealing things that don’t belong to him, and generally wreaking havoc on the working people of this community – in this case, a 65-year-old veteran who fought for our country’s freedom. He deserves no mercy with this sentence.”

The judge imposed the 6-month contempt-of-court sentence after issuing repeated warnings to Gladney regarding his courtroom behavior. In one instance, Gladney attempted to make an objection to the judge’s remarks.