The last of four men charged in the robbery and severe beating of a Lisle 7-Eleven clerk was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday after a judge watched a video of the attack and called it "sickening."
Antwan Jones Jr., 18, of Chicago, admitted striking the 52-year-old victim at least 10 times while his friends ransacked the store for alcohol and cigarettes. Even after the clerk lost consciousness and fell to the floor, Jones -- who was wearing a mask -- returned and threw more punches, according to security footage played in court.
"The video is sickening," DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell told Jones before imposing a near-maximum term. "You go in. You sucker punch the guy. He's still down. He can't even get up, and you keep going back every 15 or 30 seconds to hit him again."
In the roughly three-minute video, the victim is seen struggling to his feet after the robbers flee, only to collapse to the floor again. He suffered severe injuries, including bleeding on the brain and cognitive dysfunction, according to a victim-impact statement read in court. The clerk described the ordeal as "a day I will always remember."
"I haven't been to work in about four months. I cannot drive, and I'm in the care of others," he wrote in the impact statement. "Things are very different for me now."
Lisle police Detective Justin Louis testified the July 2012 robbery may have been an act of retaliation after the clerk caught one of Jones' co-defendants stealing from the convenience store on Old Tavern Road several weeks earlier. Jones confessed to throwing repeated punches even though the clerk didn't fight back.
The beating was "horrific," Assistant State's Attorney Deb Brewer said.
"This was not an impulse fight," she said. "This was premeditated to go in there and violently attack him."
In a brief statement to the judge, Jones apologized and explained that once he turned 18 he began "living too fast." He also said he was under the influence of several substances during the robbery.
"I'm very sorry for my actions," he said, asking for a boot-camp referral rather than prison. "This isn't something I would normally do."
Jones, who pleaded guilty to robbery, was the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced in the case, and the only one accused of personally assaulting the victim.
Co-defendants Antonio Finley, 21, of Naperville; Steven Gayden, 18, of Aurora; and DeShaun Wilson, 17, of Lisle, each pleaded guilty last year and were referred to boot camp.