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Local

Man sentenced to 38 years in shooting case


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SYCAMORE – Brandon Washington was sentenced Monday to 38 years in prison, two months after being convicted of shooting a DeKalb man last year.

Washington, 22, faced a minimum sentence of 31 years for the charge of attempted first-degree murder. He was also convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm and armed violence, but for the purposes of sentencing, the court considered all of the charges as part of the same crime.

In September, a jury convicted Washington of shooting Jason Johnson of DeKalb in the face at point-blank range in May of 2009. The injury was not fatal, but the jury found it did cause great bodily harm to Johnson, who had to be airlifted to a Rockford hospital for treatment. Johnson testified that the attack was unprovoked.

During Monday's sentencing hearing, DeKalb County Assistant State's Attorney Phil Montgomery asked the judge to sentence Washington to 40 years in prison. He said Washington's extensive felony criminal history began at the age of 12, and pointed out he was on parole for aggravated robbery when the shooting occurred. Washington's attorney, Robert Nolan, said Washington had suffered a difficult childhood and asked for the minimum sentence of 31 years.

Before being sentenced, Washington told Circuit Judge Robbin Stuckert he took full responsibility for his actions and said he has changed his life while in the county jail. He became religious, completed his GED and formed new relationships with his parents, he said.

Under the state's truth in sentencing law, Washington must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, or 32 years, before being released.

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