Elgin man gets 23 years for 2008 home invasion
A Kane County judge sentenced an Elgin man Tuesday to 23 years in prison for his role in a 2008 home invasion in which a family was bound with duct tape.
"You took from them their family security, the peace and safety of their home," Associate Judge Allen M. Anderson told 22-year-old Christian Lopez, who was convicted by a jury in February. "This is something they will never get over."
Lopez, who faced up to 30 years behind bars, was one of six men charged in the Aug. 22, 2008 home invasion on the 3600 block of Old Bridge Lane on Elgin's far west side.
About 11:30 p.m., prosecutors said, the would-be burglars smashed down the door of a home occupied by three adults and four children younger than 8, cut the phone lines, and tied some of them up with duct tape. The perpetrators fled after a woman who awoke to the sound of the door being broken down escaped through a bathroom window and ran to a neighbor's house.
In sentencing Lopez, who was on parole at the time of the break-in, Anderson noted that one of the homeowners was struck in the head by what appeared to be a gun as his family was held hostage. The judge said he also took into account Lopez's lengthy criminal history, which includes six felony and misdemeanor convictions and three prison sentences since he was 14.
Lopez offered an apology in a statement to the court, saying his life started on a "downward spiral" after he became involved with gangs as a teenager. He described himself as a "changed person" who wants to contribute to society.
"I stand here today as a new man, and accept responsibility for my actions," he said in the statement, read by defense attorney Charles Nave.
By law, Lopez must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, or about 20 years, with credit for time served in the county jail since 2008.
Prosecutors said four of his co-defendants have pleaded guilty in the case, and the fifth is awaiting trial.