A 20-year-old Melrose Park man was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for a 2012 armed robbery that netted him and two others a total of $600.
Hector Dominguez, of the 1600 block of 24th Avenue, pleaded guilty last month in DuPage County to one count of armed robbery with a firearm.
Assistant State's Attorney Steve Knight said Dominguez, a known gang member, entered Lombard Tobacco at 890 East Route 38 with two other men on April 27, 2012, and pointed a loaded gun at shop owner Abughosh Ziad. While pointing the gun, Dominguez ordered one of his accomplices to bind Ziad's hands with plastic ties while the other man grabbed the money from the register and safe, along with cigarettes and several glass pipes.
"(Dominguez) has done absolutely nothing in his life besides having his daughter," Knight said while arguing for the 25-year sentence and acknowledging the 2-year-old girl in the gallery. "He has been a gang member since he was 14, began smoking weed at 15 and drinking at 17 while living at his parents' house."
Dominguez's attorney, Frank Scarpino, called Dominguez the "perfect patsy" who was being influenced by a 31-year-old co-defendant.
"He had a newborn daughter and was hurting for cash. He was ripe for the mental picking," Scarpino said. "Hardly a fish gets caught without first opening its mouth. And his friend set him up and put him right on the hook."
Judge Robert Kleeman, who ordered the sentence, dismissed Dominguez's previous explanation that he made a mistake.
"A mistake is spilling coffee," Kleeman said. "A mistake is not pointing a gun at someone and demanding money."
Dominguez recently was sentenced in Kane County to 21 years in prison for a similar case in Elgin. In the Lombard case, he was sentenced to 10 years with an automatic 15-year add-on for committing the offense with a firearm.
Kleeman, acknowledging the 15-year add-on is significant, said the legislature has made it available for a reason.
"Our community and our state has said they are tired of gun crime," Kleeman said.
Both sentences will run concurrent and be served at 50 percent, meaning Dominguez will serve a total of 12½ years and be given credit for the two years he has served in Kane and DuPage jails.
One of Dominguez's accomplices, 32-year-old Eduardo Roman, pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery in April 2013 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.