A former Lake County high school basketball star was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for threatening his probation officer after a dispute over a court-ordered drug test.
Jereme Richmond, 21, of the 2000 block of Arthur Drive in Waukegan, will receive 215 days of credit for time already served in Lake County jail since his arrest April 25.
Richmond was facing up to seven years behind bars after a Lake County jury found him guilty on two of three counts of witness intimidation Aug. 8. He could have also received probation, assistant state's attorney Jim Newman said.
"We are pleased with the sentence and believe it's appropriate based on the defendant's conduct while on probation," Newman said.
Richmond, who played basketball at Waukegan High School and one year at the University of Illinois before going undrafted by the NBA, has been held in Lake County jail in lieu of $1 million bail since his arrest.
During his three-day trial, prosecutors proved Richmond threatened and intimidated the probation officer and three other probation employees when he pantomimed firing a gun following a heated exchange.
Richmond was already on probation due to a previous aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge when he ignored a court order to take a required drug test at the probation offices, authorities said.
In subsequent days after the refusal, Richmond was told by the probation officer to take the test on at least two other occasions, authorities said, before the probation officer filed a court petition to have Richmond appear before a judge to explain his reason for ignoring the order.
At 4:55 p.m. the night before the scheduled court hearing, authorities said, Richmond went to the probation offices to take the test but was told to leave.
Authorities said Richmond had harsh words with office employees, then went back to his car and pantomimed firing the weapon.
The probation officer called Lake County sheriff deputies, who arrested Richmond on harassment charges.
Before Richmond's sentencing Monday, defense attorney Lawrence Wade tried to have the verdict for the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge thrown out of court because the Illinois Supreme Court declared the state's concealed carry law was unconstitutional.
However, Lake County Judge Christopher Stride ruled the gun law was still on the books when Richmond was charged, and he was officially on probation when he threatened the probation officer.