Man sentenced to 41 years in prison for homicide prosecutors called ‘exceptionally brutal and heinous’

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PEORIA, Ill. — The 39-year-old man indicted for a September 2018 homicide of another man was sentenced to 41 years in prison on Wednesday.

Daniel J. Jablonski was indicted back in October 2018 for the murder of 67-year-old Thomas Whitby, who he lived with. He was charged with first-degree murder.

Jablonski’s attorney tried to say mental illness was the reason for his actions. A prosecutor argued that wasn’t an acceptable answer, and judge Kevin Lyons ultimately denied Jablonkski the ability to see a medicinal specialist and delay sentencing. 

Authorities said on Sept. 22, Jablonski killed Whitby in the home they shared with a woman. Whitby and Jablonski reportedly had an argument and Jablonski ending up beating Whitby in the head with a leveling tool. The leveling tool was found with part of the end broken off, used to bludgeon Whitby.

A prosecutor said there’s evidence this was premeditated, as Jablosnki had sent text messages a few days prior about wanting to smack Whitby. They also said that after the murder, Jablonski sent a text to his other roommate’s mother, saying said Whitby pushed him too far and he snapped. 

Whitby was found dead in his bed with blood all over the room and broken dentures on the mattress and floor. Autopsy results found fractures in his face and skull, and injuries in his shoulders. Jablonski also reportedly etched a profanity into Whitby’s television after killing him.

A prosecutor called the murder “exceptionally brutal and heinous.”

Jablonski will get three years of mandatory supervision after his 41 years are up.

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