Quincy man gets 18-year prison sentence for battering teen who later drowned

Gage Patterson
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 28, 2020 12:14 am Updated: Mar. 28, 2020 12:55 am

QUINCY — A Quincy man accused of violating an order of protection for a Quincy teenager who drowned last October was sentenced to 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after entering a guilty plea.

Gage L. Patterson, 21, on Friday in Adams County Circuit Court pleaded guilty to one count of home invasion and domestic battery. As part of the negotiated plea, Judge Robert Adrian sentenced Patterson to 15 years for the home invasion charge and three years for the domestic battery charge. The sentences will run consecutively.

Patterson was arrested after 16-year-old Kaylee Mehochko drowned Oct. 27 when the car she was driving went into a pond at a Sherman golf course in Sangamon County. Patterson, who was a passenger in the vehicle, had been out on a $5,000 treatment bond in the cases at the time.

The charges stem from incidents on May 19 and July 25, 2019.

Adams County Assistant State's Attorney Laura Keck said had the case gone to trial, Adams County Ambulance Services EMTs would have testified that they were called May 19, 2019, to Mehochko's home to find her with fresh swelling to her head, neck and arms, along with cuts on her face, abdomen and arms. 

Keck said Blessing Hospital personnel also would have testified that Mehochko told them that Patterson punched her in the face and bit her.

She also would have called Mehochko's mother, Crystal Mehochko, who would have testified that Patterson was her daughter's boyfriend.

Crystal Mehochko also would have testified that on July 25, 2019, she found Kaylee's room a mess with blood spattered on the wall, and when she contacted her daughter, Kaylee told her that Patterson had beaten and stabbed her.

Keck said Quincy Police Detective Kevin Taute would have testified to finding blood in the room on pillows and sheets. He also found a knife with blood.

She added that Patterson denied to police that he was in the home, but that he admitted to arguing with Kaylee and that he broke her phone, which is when he said she injured her hand.

Both Kaylee and Patterson were potential contributors of DNA found on the knife, and Patterson's fingerprint was found on it, Keck said.

Keck also read a victim impact statement from Kaylee's grandmother, who said that Patterson entering her granddaughter's life led her into a downward spiral.

“I have faith your soul will be punished forever,” she wrote.

This isn't the first time Patterson was set to enter a plea.

Last month, Patterson was set to plead guilty to two counts of aggravated domestic battery with a sentencing cap of 10 years in prison, but he told Adrian he felt “coerced.” Adrian said he couldn't take the plea. 

In a statement to the court, Patterson said he tried to save Kaylee the night she died but he couldn't.

“I'm not evil,” he said. “I have a real bad drug problem.”

As part of the agreement, several other charges, including two counts of armed criminal violence, were dismissed.

Patterson received credit for 200 days already served in jail, and he will be eligible for day-for-day credit in prison.

He had been held in the Adams County Jail on $600,000 bond.

Patterson also faces one count of violation of an order of protection in Sangamon County.