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Man convicted of trying to gouge uncle’s eyes out over remote control

Exulam Holman Joliet Township was convicted trying gouge his uncle's eyes out New Year's Eve.  |  Submitted photo

Exulam Holman of Joliet Township was convicted of trying to gouge his uncle's eyes out on New Year's Eve. | Submitted photo

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Updated: August 9, 2012 6:07PM

A Will County jury on Thursday convicted a career criminal from unincorporated Joliet of trying to gouge his uncle’s eyes out on New Year’s Eve as they struggled over a remote control.

Exulam Holman, 33, was convicted of aggravated battery and aggravated domestic battery and now faces up to 14 years in prison when he’s sentenced Oct. 11.

Holman’s first trial in July ended in a mistrial because a juror knew one of the potential witnesses.

During those proceedings 63-year-old Clifford Melvin told jurors the attack began after he returned to their home in the 1100 block of McKay Street from a nearby casino. Melvin said Holman declared, “there can only be one king,” as he pinned Melvin down and pushed his thumbs into his uncle’s eye sockets.

But Holman’s attorney, Robert Bodach, told jurors Melvin attacked Holman first that night, punching him and threatening him with a chair. He said Holman had to stop the fight.

Four years before the fight with his uncle, Holman stood trial on charges he attacked his brother with a pair of garden shears — a fight he told police started over a bowl of homemade chili.

A jury wound up acquitting Exulam Holman after his brother turned out to be an uncooperative witness, but it’s one of 25 arrests he’s had since 1999.

Holman once pleaded guilty to aggravated battery after driving his car into a police officer in 2000, according to court records. He also pleaded guilty in 2010 after threatening another officer with a hammer.

He’s faced several misdemeanor battery charges, and he prompted his now ex-wife to seek orders of protection multiple times. She’s accused him in court papers of screaming, “I’m a king,” before making drunken threats against her, and she said he once told her she’d wind up dead in the dirt beside her house if she sought child support.

Holman also received a $100,000 settlement, though, after a Joliet police officer beat him while breaking up a dice game in the Forest Park neighborhood in 1999. The officer was fired.

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