Hazel Crest man acquitted of Mount Prospect armed robbery
Jurors acquitted a Hazel Crest man late Thursday on charges he and another man robbed a Mount Prospect Sprint store at gunpoint of $80,000 worth of cellphones and iPads and forced employees and customers into a bathroom.
Defense attorney Beau Brindley argued police got it wrong when they charged Marin L. Jones less than 24 hours after the Dec. 3, 2013, robbery, even though Jones, 27, had in his possession one of the stolen iPads and $2,300. An iPad mini, also stolen from the store, was found at his home, prosecutors said.
Brindley suggested a rush to judgment by police.
"It's easier to say, 'We got the guy with the stolen goods, let's close the book on this case,'" Brindley said during a closing argument in which he questioned the identification of his client, pointing out one witness was unable to pick Jones out of a lineup and other witnesses never mentioned the distinctive shoulder-length dreadlocks he had at the time.
Witnesses' lack of detail and inconsistencies about the robbers' clothing raised reasonable doubt, as did the physical lineup pairing his 5'5" client alongside "a lineup of giants."
Brindley also faulted evidence testing and suggested police failed to fully investigate the robbery.
"The analysis (police) should have done they didn't do, said Brindley. "The questions they should have asked they didn't ask."
Prosecutors said police were on the ball when they arrested Jones.
"He gets caught red-handed, with the proceeds from the robbery," said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Mike Crowe. Crowe challenged Jones' claim that he drove with the robbers to the store but didn't enter it.
"He's no victim of circumstance. He's an armed robber and a kidnapper," Crowe said.