Urbana teen on probation gets 5 years for battery

Urbana teen on probation gets 5 years for battery

URBANA — An Urbana teenager who was on probation for carjacking a woman at a parking deck on campus in August 2012 was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for aggravated battery.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd agreed to recommend Kamron Haley, 17, whose last known address was in the 2100 block of South Orchard Street, for the Department of Corrections' boot camp program.

Haley pleaded guilty to aggravated battery for getting into a struggle with a loss-prevention employee at the Urbana Wal-Mart on Sept. 25.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said the employee had followed Haley out of the store after he saw Haley taking clothing without paying for it. When Haley refused to come back in, the employee used his cellphone to take photos of Haley's license plate number. Haley then struggled with the employee, grabbed his phone and threw it, damaging it, Bennett said.

He then took off in the vehicle, with a 2-year-old child with him.

Bennett said the vehicle was traced to Haley's girlfriend, who was the alleged victim in two other cases against Haley that were dismissed in return for his guilty plea. He had been charged with unlawful restraint and aggravated battery in those.

At the time of his arrest in September, Haley was serving a sentence of five years of probation he had received in December 2012 for taking a woman's car from her on Aug. 9, 2012, in the parking garage for the Beckman Institute at 1201 W. University Ave., U. He had pleaded guilty to that and to possession of a stolen vehicle for taking a car from a home in Champaign in April 2012.

Bennett said petitions to revoke his probation in those cases, in which he was prosecuted as a juvenile, remain unresolved.

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Skepticity wrote on December 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Here is the 12/18/2012 - 3:45pm story by Mary Shenk regarding the juvenile carjacking case and sentence.  Please note the victim impact and the Judge's statement about the pressure the perp applied to the victim's throat:

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"An Urbana teen who admitted he carjacked a woman in a parking garage on the University of Illinois campus in August has been sentenced to five years of probation.

Judge Harry Clem ordered that he wear a GPS bracelet and not leave his grandparents' home until he enters the Lincoln's Challenge program in Rantoul on Jan. 14.

For the first time since the Aug. 9 attack on Nancy Dodge, who has been in court for almost all the teen's hearings, the 16-year-old turned to her and apologized.

"I am truly sorry for hurting you physically and emotionally ... and for taking away your sense of security," he said.

"I am a changing person," said the teen, acknowledging that he has a long way to go. "There are days I think solely of myself. I am trying, though."

"I did not apologize because I was so abashed and ashamed of what I had done. It has taken me four months to say 'I'm sorry.' I hope you're one of those people I can do good for," he said to the 57-year-old woman.

The News-Gazette does not normally identify those who are charged with crimes as juveniles.

In September, the teen pleaded guilty to vehicular hijacking for the 7:15 a.m. attack on Dodge in the deck at 1201 W. University Ave., U. As she was walking to her office, Dodge was grabbed from behind and put in a painful chokehold before having her keys taken and her car stolen.

In a previous hearing, she spelled out for Clem the trauma she suffered in the wake of the attack. She had emergency room bills, ongoing counseling, the cost of repairs to her stolen car, the cost of getting it out of storage, and many lost hours of work due to police interviews and having to cancel and replace credit cards and other identifying documents.

She also told Clem of her inability to sleep at night or focus on her work.

The teen had also pleaded guilty in a separate case to possessing a vehicle that had been stolen in April from a home on Taylor Thomas Drive in Champaign.

Clem sentenced him to five years of probation for the vehicular hijacking and four years of probation for the possession of stolen vehicle.

He reminded the teen that what he did was one of the most serious crimes he could have committed short of murder.

"Had you exerted just a little more pressure, you could easily be sitting there charged as an adult with murder," said the veteran juvenile court judge.

While acknowledging that the teen had taken responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty, Clem told the youth that he could benefit from even more "soul searching."

"This world is not about you. The motive (his grandparents' refusal to let him have his own car) is the least possible justification for what you did," he said.

Clem told the teen that if he left his grandparents' home for any activity that had not previously been approved by the probation office, he would be arrested.

"We're going to be looking over your shoulder for a good long time," said Clem."

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Since that time he offended and had the two felony charges against him for unlawful restraint and aggravated battery.  He then engaged in the Walmart theft, aggravated battery, and child endangerment. 

So of course, since he presented such low risk of reoffending and certainly didn't present any threat to community safety, he was allowed a plea deal allowing boot camp, which if he is successful will put him back on the street in a few months. 

I am so happy that plea bargain justice is keeping the community safe!

Dann001 wrote on December 22, 2013 at 12:12 am

Wait a minute, does anyone really believe that this punk clown came up with the word "abashed" on his own? If the article is truly a correct reflection of the transcript or printed from actually being present in the courtroom, then one would clearly know that this statement was written for him and practiced several times!

Also, if Clem gave him the opportunity to take advantage of "Boot Camp", then Ladd would not be allowed to grant that possibility again? There are several things that strike a cord of skeptisism regarding all of these actions!

Regardless, I think this person is beyond rehabilitation and needs to be made to take responsibility for his actions once and for all. 

Finally, for all of Clem's worthless rhetoric in the first case, this punk commited even worse crimes. How on earth do we keep Judges on the bench like Clem and Ladd?

sweet caroline wrote on December 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I'm confused.  Was he already on 5 years' probation for the carjacking and assault in the parking garage, and now he has another 5 years' probation and boot camp for the new crimes?  Judge Ladd tries to give young offenders a second chance, but this time she is too lenient.  If the 2-year-old is his child, I hope DCFS will keep an eye on any of his interactions with him/her.

Skepticity wrote on December 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm

According to the article, he was sentenced to 5 years in DOC (not probation), but is eligible for Impact Incarceration (boot camp) which, if successfully completed, will allow his being paroled in a few months.  If he acts up too much he will be returned to a regular prison and resume his 5 year sentence.  Depending upon his behavior he could then qualify for parole before the 5 years, but that would be a longer incarceration than if he completed boot camp successfully. 

The article today mentions that he could have his probation revoked from his earlier carjacking and aggravated battery charges.  Since they were juvenile charges and he just pled to an adult charge and received an adult sentence, they may just rule that his juvenile probation was unsuccessfully completed. 

According to today's article, the aggravated battery and unlawful restraint cases regarding alleged offenses against the former girlfriend were dimissed as part of the plea agreement when he admitted the Walmart incident. 

I appreciate that Mary Shenk noted the earlier juvenile case in today's article.  I remembered the reporting of the parking garage incident, which was disturbing, and looked up the story. 

The public often believes that the criminal goes to court, is convicted, and justice is served.  The number of criminals who endanger or harm others and are on the street after serving light sentences would shock anyone who was paying attention to the outcomes of the plea bargain justice system. 

sweet caroline wrote on December 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Thank you, Skepticity, for explaining.  I guess he'll have one last chance at turning himself around while he's in boot camp.  One can only hope that it will make an impact on him and put him on the right path. 

cretis16 wrote on December 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

Dont you just love the criminal justice system. ..they are so over the top on probation sentences. Robbery, assault...read the News-Gazette. ..amazing how many people get a simple probation sentence and then hit the streets for even more crime. This is another good example..thank you judge for letting this citizen loose on the carjacking.The trouble with the CU community is they just dont know when someone is " working them" ...i.e. ( I'm truly sorry and trying to change), toss in a couple of tears and maybe a shaking hand or rubbing the eyes...and POOF....free again!!