A Fox Lake teen covered her face with her hands and cried Monday as the daughter of a North Chicago man whose death she played a role in testified about the anguish her family feels every night.
"I hate listening to my little brother cry at night because his dad isn't coming home," Ameyali Olmos told Courtney Sherman, 18, during a sentencing hearing in a Lake County courtroom. "Our family was so perfect with him, and you took that away from us,"
Judge Victoria Rossetti sentenced Sherman to three years in prison for her part in the killing of 43-year-old Trinidad Bueno-Sanchez during a botched robbery April 24 in Round Lake Beach.
Sherman was facing up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide Oct. 4.
"This is a horrific tragedy that devastated two families," Sherman attorney James Schwarzbach said. "(Sherman) pleaded guilty because she was truthfully remorseful. She is living with this death every day and will continue to do so."
Sherman was accused of being the mastermind of the robbery behind a department store on the 700 block of East Rollins Road.
Using the name "Jessie," Sherman used a phone app to arrange a deal to buy a cellphone from Bueno-Sanchez for $450, Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Eric Kalata said.
After meeting with Sherman and a group of juveniles in the store parking lot, Bueno-Sanchez gave Sherman the phone in exchange for a sealed envelope that had $450 written on it, authorities said. But when he checked inside the envelope, he found only three $1 bills and Walmart receipts.
When Bueno-Sanchez discovered he was duped, he grabbed a hold of the teens' car to question them, Kalata said. Sherman told the juvenile driver to "go" and the car took off, dragging Bueno-Sanchez, authorities said.
Bueno-Sanchez hung on to the car before falling and striking his head on the pavement, causing a fatal injury, Kalata said.
Schwarzbach said all of the teens in the vehicle told the juvenile driver to "go."
The juvenile driver and front seat passenger also were charged with reckless homicide and robbery, Kalata said. Both have since taken plea deals, though the terms have not been disclosed.
Olmos also read a written statement from her mother, Maria Porcayo. In in, she wrote a part of her "died that day."
"The truth is, he didn't deserve this," Olmos read from her mother's letter. "You didn't just kill him. You killed a part of my children, too."
Schwarzbach said Sherman will be eligible for day-for-day credit while in prison, as well as 245 days credit for time already served in Lake County jail.