URBANA — An Urbana teenager who admitted his role in an attempted drug-related robbery in Rantoul has been sentenced to two years of probation.
“Why are you here?” Judge Heidi Ladd asked the 17-year-old as she sentenced him Friday in connection with a Jan. 11 incident in the 1200 block of Aspen Drive, Rantoul.
Ladd said she found it “shocking” to see a teen from a stable, loving, two-parent home, who takes advanced placement courses and is described by teachers as an excellent student, involved in such “very dangerous behavior.”
Then, the teen was in a car that got in a wreck with another car as the group was taking the wounded friend to the hospital. A good Samaritan picked up the injured teen and got him to help.
Police found two stolen guns in the field near the wreck, one of which was linked to shell casings found on Aspen.
The teen pleaded guilty in March to attempted aggravated robbery, reduced from attempted armed robbery. His only prior police contact was for mob action in connection with a brawl at Urbana High School in February 2019. He successfully completed a diversion program for that.
Assistant State’s Attorney Alex Boyd reluctantly recommended juvenile prison.
“No one wants to ruin his future,” Boyd said.
Boyd said it was fortunate that the other teen was only shot in the leg and that no one was seriously injured in the car accident that followed.
The teen’s attorney, Kevin Markes of Urbana, argued for probation, saying his client, who spent 51 days locked up prior to his plea, “owned it and acknowledged every single thing he did.”
Markes said the teen has had no contact with the other youths involved since and wants to pursue his plans to go to college after he graduates high school, a semester ahead of his classmates.
The teen also told Ladd he took responsibility for his actions.
In sentencing him to probation and 75 hours of public service and ordering him to have no contact with anyone else involved, Ladd warned the youth that any future crimes would almost guarantee him a prison term.
“You did this to yourself. Be the person everyone has described to me,” she said.
Cases against the other teens charged remain unresolved.