Jordan Hill, 20, was sentenced Thursday to eight years imprisonment after pleading guilty to aggravated kidnapping and a hate crime — bringing more closure to a disturbing Chicago ordeal that made national headlines after it was streamed live over Facebook.
The Chicago Tribune described him as the “alleged ringleader” of a group that abducted and tortured a mentally disabled teenager in a “racially charged” crime in early January of 2017.
Hill and three other individuals were charged over the shocking video: Tesfaye Cooper (who is only indicted, not convicted of any crime) and sisters Brittany (20) and Tanishia Covington (25). Their victim is an unnamed white male with schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who was 18 at the time of the abduction and torture.
The video shows the purported perps making statements including “f*ck Donald Trump” and “f*ck white people” while streaming live video on Facebook. The abuse included binding, gagging, beating, and cutting their victim.
Brittany Covington was sentenced to four years of probation and banned from using social media last December. She was later taken back into custody in April after seemingly violating the conditions of her probation by accessing Facebook.
Tanishia Covington was sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty in April. She was paroled last week.
According to the Tribune, Cooper’s lawyer “indicated in court Thursday his client is considering a plea deal as well.”
Judge William Hooks offered comments on the racial dimension of the crime prior to sentencing Hill. The Tribune writes that the judge, who is black, castigated Hill for dishonoring the work of civil rights icons:
“I surmise you believe you have some pride in being an African-American, is that fair to say?” Hooks asked Hill from the bench.
“I’m proud to be black,” Hill answered quietly.
Hooks, who is African-American, then pointed out the portraits of civil rights heroes including Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglass, displayed in his courtroom in the Leighton Criminal Court Building. Hill admitted he did not know any of their identities.
“Every time you take an act like this particular terrible act against this young man who couldn’t defend himself, you spit on the graves of all these folks that surround you in this courtroom,” the judge said.
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