A 21-year-old Darien man avoided additional jail time after prosecutors downgraded a 2011 robbery charge, stemming from the holdup of a pizza delivery driver, to a misdemeanor theft charge.
Rashawn Clark, of the 7500 block of Farmingdale Road, pleaded guilty to the reduced charge last month and was sentenced Wednesday to two years of probation. He also was directed to undergo any psychiatric evaluations ordered by the probation department.
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Authorities said Clark and two other people ordered a pizza on April 3, 2011, using Clark's cellphone. When the pizza was delivered, prosecutors said, one male let the delivery woman in the apartment building while Clark approached her from behind, put his arms around her neck and demanded her money. The third male grabbed the pizza from the woman and the three ran away.
Only one of the other two males, a juvenile, has been charged in the case and is also on probation.
Since the arrest and the 156 days Clark spent in custody at the Elgin Mental Health Center, Clark's mother, Charrise Hobdy, said Clark has been diagnosed with and treated for schizophrenia. With treatment, she said, his mood has stabilized and he's been helpful around the house.
She pleaded with Judge Robert Kleeman to place Clark under court supervision as opposed to probation, which comes with a more severe mark on one's permanent record. She said Clark has struggled to find work because of his disability and a probationary record would further hamper his ability to get a job.
"I don't mean to lessen the charges or the seriousness of the crime, but I would prefer him to receive supervision," she told Kleeman. "I'd like for him to be able to get a job one day and contribute to society and have a sense of self."
Kleeman said he was sympathetic but the crime was serious enough to warrant a probation sentence, which also allows the court to oversee and follow his treatment.