Paden gets 8 years for assault at Quincy bar

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QUINCY — A Quincy man who accepted a guilty plea to an Aggravated Battery charge in December was sentenced to 8 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections Thursday afternoon.

The incident in question occurred at the Harrison Pub, 1701 Harrison, in the early morning hours on Jan. 29, 2023. The Quincy Police Department officers and Adams County EMS personnel found an unconscious male lying on the ground outside of Harrison Pub. The unconscious male, later to be identified as Jason Summers, 41, Quincy, was transported to Blessing Hospital by ambulance and later placed in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit.

Detectives with the Quincy Police Department determined the following day there had been a disturbance between Summers and Bryan Paden. Paden and multiple other subjects fled the scene immediately after the disturbance, but Paden turned himself in to the Quincy Police Department on Feb. 2, 2023.

On Thursday, Paden, 41, was cuffed by Adams County Sheriff’s bailiffs as Circuit Judge Tad Brenner pronounced the sentence.

Brenner cited Paden’s “very long” criminal record, including previous drug and assault convictions as he cast the maximum sentence allowed according to terms agreed to by the prosecution and the defense. Brenner also said he didn’t detect remorse until the statement Paden made just before Brenner made his ruling.

“Mr. Paden, in the pre-sentence investigation, you said Mr. Summers ‘kept talking…made people uncomfortable and ‘called me a bad name.’,” Brenner said “I didn’t hear an apology anywhere, until today.”

Paden apologized for his actions as he made a statement before he was sentenced.

Both the victim and Paden had been drinking at the bar, but Paden also admitted to being high on cocaine the night of the assault, according to the pre-sentencing report.

“Mr. Paden made the choice that he made a year and a half ago and the victim in this case’s life will never be the same,” Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones said. “The children of the victims … their lives will never be the same. The parents of Jason, their lives will never be the same. The parents of Mr. Paden, their lives will never be the same. Every person who wrote a letter of support in this case, their lives will never be the same. It’s not because of what the court does, or what I do or what the police did. The reason why nobody’s life is going to be the same is because of the choice that he (Paden) made. In the snap decision that he made, because he had had enough.”

Jones described Paden’s assault as “a flying punch”.

Ron Summers, the victim’s father, presented a victim impact statement that was read in court by his daughter.

“As a father I feel powerless and there’s nothing that I can do to make my son feel better,” Ron Summers wrote. “It angers me because I see the deep depression he is suffering and have suicidal thoughts. I see how he feels alone and feels like no one understands him. Jason deals with paranoia and memory loss that affects him daily. And it is a constant reminder of the incident is unable to have a healthy and meaningful relationship. My son was an outgoing, funny, hardworking and ambitious person. And what I see when I look at him now as a zombie.”

Victims witness coordinator Trisha Hubbard read a statement on behalf of Jason Summers:

Since I have been out in the hospital, I now have regular seizures that are out of my control. I am transported by ambulance every time. I must be intubated every time. I don’t know when I have the seizures. I just wake up in the hospital confused. The seizure sents me back two weeks. I have lost my relationship with my youngest son that was wondering if I can’t be alone with him. I didn’t want to be a burden to my girlfriend and have her take care of me with all of our sons. It is hard living with my kids. I feel like a burden…

“With every seizure I don’t know if I’m going to die. I am scared to do anything for fear of a seizure. I have a grandson and a young son. I don’t know what my future is with them. Will I ever be able to live on my own? Can I afford to live on my own? I worry about the medical bills. I can’t work anymore. I enjoy working. I don’t like sharing my feelings. I forgot who I was. I must learn to be a new person.”

Paden’s attorney, Nick Rober, asked for probation or the minimum sentence of 2 years.

“Mr. Paden and Mr. Summers had a history and that contributed to the regrettable result,” Rober said. “But look at the things that he has done since this incident has occurred… over the last 10 years, Mr. Paden has not been a completely law-abiding citizen. But I think that part of him was gone … Obviously, alcohol was a factor here on both sides. Both statements by Mr. Summers and Mr. Paden indicated that they didn’t really remember much from that. There were reports of a lot of confrontation in a bar and aggressive situations (on both sides).”

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