Jordan Hill                                  Tesfaye cooper

 

The last two defendants have pleaded guilty in a kidnapping and assault case deemed a hate crime by prosecutors against a Crystal Lake teen that was video-streamed live on Facebook Jan. 2, 2017. The incident involving the special needs teen drew national attention, and condemnation from thenPres. Barack Obama, as four individuals terrorized the youth at an apartment shared by two sisters over the New Year’s 2016-17 weekend.

Jordan Hill, 20, pleaded guilty to a hate crime and one count of aggravated kidnapping July 5, and Tesfaye Cooper, 20, pleaded guilty to the same charges July 12, both within the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago. Tanishia Covington, 25, earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison but is now free on parole, due to time served. Her sister, Brittany Covington, 20, was sentenced to four years of probation but is now jailed and awaiting an Aug. 7 hearing for violating conditions stipulated in her verdict.

The original charges filed against the four assailants included aggravated kidnapping, a hate crime, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and unlawful restraint. Prosecutors indicated that Hill was the instigator for the attack.

Several police reports, culled from several jurisdictions, showed Hill was involved in a crime spree beginning Dec. 30, when a Marengo man lent his mother’s 2009 red Chevrolet Impala to Hill and two others, whom he had met on social media. He was dropped off at the Hampshire Mc Donald’s for his job, and picked up in a white Nissan Sentra, following the shift. They went to a Rolling Meadows BP Fuel Station, and the Marengo man was told to look for marijuana in the restroom. According to a Hampshire police report, the others drove off and took his iPhone.

Carpentersville police contacted the Nissan owner at 1:05 a.m. Dec. 31, who said that “Jordan” may have taken the phone and also borrowed the Impala, from the Marengo man. At 8:33 p.m., Hill was pulled over in the Impala by Streamwood police, at a Burger King parking lot. The passenger was ticketed for open liquor, and Hill, with no driver’s license, was not arrested. The police did take the vehicle keys, for return to the owner.

One hour later, at a Schaumburg McDonald’s, the Crystal Lake special needs teen informed his mother that he would be staying with a friend. On Jan. 2, at 9:45 p.m., a video camera from Streamwood’s MDZ Welding Co., depicts a van being stolen from their lot. The teen was picked up in the van, and taken to an apartment in Chicago where he was beaten, assaulted, and tortured. Hill also called the teen’s family and allegedly ordered them to pay a $300 ransom.

Three videos were streamed showing physical abuse against the teen, making him drink from a toilet bowl, and Cooper threatening the teen with a knife. Hair was cut from his head leaving a scar. Laughing, drug use, and racist taunts were also displayed on the videos. The victim was later found walking the streets outside the apartment shirtless.

A victim impact statement was read at Cooper’s hearing and highlighted that the teen suffers from depression, and post-traumatic stress.

Hill received an eight year sentence in exchange for his guilty plea, after previously rejecting the terms. Cooper will be sentenced July 26, before Circuit Court Judge William H. Hooks. Last Apr., Tanishia Covington pleaded guilty to intimidation, aggravated battery, and a hate crime in receiving a three-year sentence. Last. Dec., Brittany Covington pleaded guilty to aggravated battery with intent to disseminate on video and a hate crime. Her plea deal included four years of probation, completion of her general equivalency degree, and 200 hours of community service.

The Marengo man also had contact with the Hampshire police, and the report varied from the Rolling Meadows report in that he was picked up after work by a white man, with three black passengers. The man’s identity is not being released, due to privacy requests.

The original charges filed against the four assailants included aggravated kidnapping, a hate crime, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and unlawful restraint. Prosecutors indicated that Hill was the instigator for the attack.

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