Island Lake man pleads not guilty in robbery

An Island Lake man police say was shot while trying to rob a Wauconda pharmacy in February pleaded not guilty Thursday in Lake County Circuit Court.

Guy Conti, 31, is also charged with robbing the same pharmacy two months earlier and faces charges in Arkansas for a similar crime there, Assistant State’s Attorney Ken Larue said.

Larue said Conti, of the 27000 block of Hickory Street, entered the Wauconda Pharmacy at Liberty and Main streets about 1:45 p.m. on Feb. 14. Wearing a ski mask and wielding a knife, Conti forced his way into the pharmacist’s area and demanded painkillers, Larue said.

Employees grabbed Conti but he broke free, Larue said, and threatened the employees with the knife.

One of the employees grabbed a handgun and shot Conti once in the abdomen, Larue said, and Conti was hospitalized for about two weeks as a result.

The employee who shot Conti had a valid state Firearms Owner’s Identification card, Larue said, and was not charged as a result of the shooting.

Police said Conti confessed to robbing the same pharmacy of painkillers while using a gun on Dec. 10 when they questioned him about the Feb. 14 robbery attempt.

Arkansas authorities are seeking to prosecute Conti for the Oct. 17 robbery of a pharmacy there, Larue said, but the Lake County charges will be resolved before Conti is returned to that state.

Conti, who is held on $500,000 bond, appeared before Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak on Thursday morning. Conti was seated during the arraignment because he is still recovering from the gunshot wound.

Potkonjak told Conti he is charged with aggravated robbery and robbery in both Wauconda cases and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted in either.

Potkonjak scheduled a trial of the case for May 28 and ordered Conti to appear in court April 28.