Court report: Sentences handed down in North Side robbery cases

Jodeci Sherels | CPD

Several robbery cases we told you about on CWBChicago have wrapped up in court. Here’s what happened:

• A 26-year-old Michigan man has been sentenced to four years in prison for committing a series of robberies and thefts in River North.  Jodeci Sherels pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and two counts of robbery of a victim over age 60. He received three concurrent four-year prison terms with 208 days credit for time served in the deal that was approved by Judge James Obbish.

Sherels was arrested in September after a man flagged down a police patrol car in the 700 block of North State to report that a man with orange hair had just stolen his cellular phone.

Two other victims reported that Sherels had robbed them at around the same time: One in front of a hotel near La Salle and Grand, the other in a parking garage near Dearborn and Chicago.

An off-duty police officer began chasing Sherels after the garage robbery and detained him for cops near Washington Square Park.

Daniel Espejo | CPD

• Daniel Espejo, who told cops that his 17-year-old female robbery victim was “lucky” they came because he was ready to rape her, has received a three-year prison sentence with 215 days credit for time served. He will be released early from prison on Feb. 28th.

Prosecutors said Espejo, 36, approached the girl and asked for the time shortly before 10 p.m. on October 2nd in the 1400 block of West Foster. He then suddenly grabbed the girl’s purse, and the two wrestled for control of the bag for nearly a minute before a pedestrian intervened and told the girl to take shelter inside a nearby business, police said.

Responding police officers arrested Espejo nearby based on a description provided by the victim.

At the police station, Espejo told officers, “the b*tch is lucky you pigs came because I would’ve raped that little b*tch,” according to court records. He is a self-admitted member of the Latin Kings street gang, according to police.

Judge William O’Brien approved the plea deal.

Marcell Townsend | CPD

• One of Wrigleyville and Boystown’s biggest menaces is finally going to prison—but not for long.

Marcell Townsend, 26, who was accused of taking a suburban man’s phone and transferring money into his own Venmo account without permission, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception in a plea deal. Judge William O’Brien sentenced him to two years in prison with credit for 39 days time served. Townsend will be paroled on Feb. 28th. Charges of robbery, theft, computer fraud and wire fraud were dropped in the deal.

Early on Nov. 4, 2018, police were flagged down in Wrigleyville by a man who said Townsend took his phone without permission and then accessed the man’s Venmo account. According to the victim, Townsend transferred $950 from the victim’s bank to Townsend’s own account. Townsend then gave the man his phone back and left, the victim said.

Townsend and his brothers have been repeatedly arrested in Lakeview for narcotics, battery, and theft since 2014. While Marcell has regularly seen charges dropped by the state, his brothers Zikee and  Morgan have not been as fortunate.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is