URBANA — A Rantoul teen in whose backpack police found a gun and drugs when he was arrested last month will be tried as an adult.
Judge Tom Difanis said it was up to him to decide whether Kristopher Mockbee, 17, should remain in the juvenile court system or be prosecuted as an adult but added that Mockbee made the choice by the poor decisions he made.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz then filed adult charges against Mockbee for armed violence, a Class X felony; possession with intent to deliver cocaine, a Class 2 felony; and aggravated unlawful use of weapons, a Class 4 felony.
He’s being held in lieu of $150,000 and is due back in Difanis’ court Nov. 19.
The charges stem from his arrest Sept. 19 after Rantoul police received a call from a concerned relative who found a gun in his backpack while Mockbee was in that person’s home.
Sgt. Rodney Sullivan said police went looking for Mockbee, spotting him riding a bicycle on Cheryl Drive about 12:15 p.m.
He was wearing a backpack.
Sullivan testified that when officers tried to stop him, using lights and sirens, Mockbee got off his bicycle and ran through yards, climbing at least one fence as he fled.
About six officers were involved in the chase, Sullivan said, which ended in the 1100 block of East Champaign Avenue.
“He didn’t have a backpack,” Sullivan said, when the officers got him handcuffed.
A resident who was watching the pursuit led police to the backpack.
Inside it, police found four small bags of cocaine weighing a total of 0.9 grams, plastic bags, a scale and a loaded .22-caliber revolver.
The gun, Sullivan said, had been stolen in a residential burglary in the 1400 block of Kenneth Drive that happened between Sept. 1 and 3.
The resident reported arriving home to a ransacked house, apparently entered by an intruder who pushed an air conditioner through a rear window.
A laptop computer and four guns — three long guns and the revolver — were missing.
Another neighbor on that street also reported a window air conditioner pushed in, Sullivan said.
He said evidence from the ransacked house was sent to the state crime lab to be analyzed, but police haven’t received a report yet.
Rietz reminded Difanis that when Mockbee was arrested, he was on probation for a 2018 residential burglary adjudication.
In that case, he broke into a Rantoul home in March 2018 and stole ammunition and three guns, one of which was found in his home.
The others were apparently sold.
Just prior to his Sept. 19 arrest, Rietz had filed a petition to revoke Mockbee’s probation for allegedly violating the rules, including failure to see a probation officer, using cannabis, disobeying curfew and being dropped from Rantoul Township High School for non-attendance.
Arguing for the transfer to adult court, Rietz also reminded the judge that Mockbee had been held in contempt of court for violating the earlier probation by burglarizing a vehicle in Rantoul just 17 days after being sentenced to probation in 2018.
“This is a young man who has been given opportunity after opportunity for court services. ... He continues to violate the law in the most serious of ways,” Rietz said.
Mockbee’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ramona Sullivan, argued there was no evidence of Mockbee using the gun and said but for the call from the concerned family member to police, there might not have been an arrest.
“They could have ignored (what the relative saw). They did what we are asking people to do,” said Sullivan, urging the judge not to use that against Mockbee because it “sends a chilling message” to the community.
She argued that he has family support, “extremely good behavior” in detention, and only a single prior adjudication, and had never been to juvenile prison.
Difanis agreed that the relative did the right thing by calling police.
“Nonetheless, this respondent minor has made the decision himself,” the judge said.