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Hunt sentenced 23 years for DeKalb armed robbery

SYCAMORE – Demond Hunt’s prison sentence for hitting a DeKalb apartment complex office employee with a handgun while stealing a wedding ring in November matches his age.

Associate Judge John McAdams sentenced Hunt, 23, of the 3700 block of 214th Place in Matteson, to 23 years in prison Wednesday. Hunt was convicted of armed robbery after a two-day jury trial in April for robbing two office employees at the University Heights apartment complex in DeKalb.

On Nov. 27, a masked Hunt demanded money from a safe that the employees did not have access to, prosecutors said. He then hit one of the women across the face with a revolver before making off with her purse and the other woman’s cellphone, the testimony at his trial revealed. The purse contained a wedding ring, which was found in Hunt’s cargo pocket after multiple searches by police.

Police later found a stolen cellphone in Hunt’s girlfriend’s University Heights apartment, along with a loaded gun and Hunt’s wallet. U.S. marshals arrested Hunt on Dec. 5.

This was Hunt’s third robbery, said DeKalb County Assistant State’s Attorney Duke Harris. Hunt received five years of probation as a juvenile for his first robbery in Will County. While on probation, he was charged with armed robbery as an adult in Cook County and received a seven-year prison sentence when the charge was reduced to robbery, Harris said.

Hunt faced between 21 and 75 years in prison. Harris suggested a 30-year sentence.

“He robbed two defenseless women that were doing nothing more than doing their jobs and attempting to make a living,” Harris said.

But defense attorney Chip Criswell asked the judge for the minimum 21-year sentence due to Hunt’s personal history. Five of his brothers and a half-brother are already in prison, Criswell said. Hunt also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder, he said.

“He grew up in an environment that was rather tough on Mr. Hunt,” Criswell said.

With good behavior in prison and credit for time spent in jail, Hunt will likely serve a little over 12 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. He will be on parole for three years after he is released from prison.

Armed robbery charges remain pending against Hunt’s girlfriend, Mariah Romero, 22, of University Park. Romero gave birth about two weeks ago to a daughter and has said Hunt is the father of the child, Criswell said.

Because she testified against Hunt in the trial, prosecutors have promised to drop armed robbery charges against her and allow her to plead guilty to obstructing justice. She will be sentenced to a year of conditional discharge, which is a type of nonreporting probation.

Romero is next due in court today.

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