Court report: Recent outcomes of gun cases you read about on CWBChicago

Here are a few recent resolutions to gun-related cases that you may have read about on CWBChicago.

Geoff Miller | CPD

• A convicted felon who was found carrying a gun in the River North nightclub district in June 2018 has reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Police stopped 30-year-old Geoffrey Miller following reports of a man with a gun on the 400 block of North Orleans.

Officers recovered a loaded handgun, a bag of suspected heroin, and 51 suspected Xanax pills from Miller, according to initial allegations. 

Now, Miller has pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon. Prosecutors dropped a Class X felony armed violence charge along with eight other felonies in their deal with Miller. Judge William Hooks sentenced Miller to 42 months in prison with credit for 260 days time served while awaiting trial.

In 2013, Miller received two concurrent 16-month prison sentences for reckless discharge of a firearm and filing a false police report.

• Cook County Judge Ericka Orr threw out charges against an Alabama man who was facing charges of having two handguns in his room at a River North hotel. Police said they saw two pistols in Gerald Rutherford’s room when they went inside to handle a reported domestic incident.

But the other party refused to file complaints against Rutherford and Orr determined that the gun case should not move forward.

Jeff Sarfo | CPD

• Not guilty. That is the verdict from Cook County Judge Carol Howard in the bench trial of a man who police said was carrying a handgun while on bail awaiting trial for a Wrigleyville robbery.

Prosecutors said in a court filing that Jeff Sarfo was in the passenger seat of a car that police pulled over for allegedly having expired plates in Rogers Park on May 8, 2018. Officers saw a handgun lying on the floorboard at Sarfo’s feet, prosecutors alleged.

Arresting officers said they heard the sound of metal striking metal in the back seat of their car as they drove Sarfo to the district station. They said they pulled over and found bullets lying in the back seat where Sarfo was sitting.

Their in-car camera allegedly captured footage of Sarfo removing a white envelope containing four bullets from his pocket, but the cops failed to preserve the video. Nonetheless, prosecutors said they still had video from the officers’ body cameras showing the cops opening their squad’s rear door and shining a flashlight on ammunition in its back seat.

Prosecutors dropped a felony possession of ammunition charge before trial after learning about the video loss.

On Wednesday, Judge Howard found Sarfo not guilty on all remaining felony counts.

Prosecutors previously dropped all charges against the man who was driving the car that police stopped for having expired plates — 21-year-old Ralph Banks.

At the time of the traffic stop, Banks was on parole for his role in a 2015 shoot-out near Wrigley Field. A North Side rapper was shot during the exchange of gunfire that left dozens of shell casings lying on a residential street.

While awaiting trial on the gun allegations, Sarfo pleaded guilty to robbing a couple outside their Wrigleyville home in the 1200 block of West Waveland on Sept. 10, 2017.

A judge sentenced him to three years. After receiving credit for time served awaiting trial and a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior, Sarfo left prison three days after arriving. He’s on parole in that case until March 18, 2021. He previously served time for aggravated fleeing from police, robbery, and possessing a firearm in public.

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• The man accused of threatening another man with a handgun in Uptown on Sept. 16 is off the hook. Judge Donald Panarese struck all charges against 30-year-old Maurice Burt following a motion by prosecutors during a hearing on Tuesday. Court records do not indicate the specific reason for the state’s decision.

A 31-year-old man told police that he got into a disagreement with Burt on the 1000 block of West Wilson and that Burt retrieved a handgun from the center console of his vehicle and pointed it at the victim.

Police said in an arrest report that Burt admitted to pointing the gun at the man. Burt possesses an Illinois Firearm Owner ID card, but he does not have a concealed carry permit, according to the report.

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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