How much prison time do people get for carjacking in Chicago? Here’s a look.

Officers from the Chicago area vehicular hijacking task force at the scene of an arrest in April 2022. | CPD

Carjackings have been making headlines in Chicago for nearly two years. But what is the punishment for a carjacker convicted of hijacking someone’s vehicle in Cook County?

According to sentencing data from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, defendants convicted of hijacking charges between January 2017 and the end of 2021 received an average sentence of 9.4 years. Kim Foxx assumed leadership of the office in December 2016.

In the seven years before Foxx was sworn in, hijacking convictions carried an average sentence of 12.4 years.

CWBChicago pulled some court records to find the outcomes of some carjacking cases we reported on. Here’s what we found.

15 years

Veronica Harden, a six-time convicted felon accused of committing two carjackings in February 2021, was found guilty in one case during a bench trial this month.

On February 24, Harden pulled a 64-year-old woman from her car in the Walgreen’s parking lot, 4343 North Kedzie, after the woman returned from picking up a prescription, prosecutors alleged. She then drove away with the vehicle.

Judge Ursula Walowski found her guilty after a bench trial on October 4. Walowski sentenced Harden to 15 years on a charge of aggravated vehicular hijacking of a person over the age of 60.

The second case, which also involves attempted murder charges, is still pending.

In that matter, Harden is accused of running over a woman while carjacking a vehicle with an eight-year-old boy inside from outside a grocery store in the 3300 block of West Belmont. The boy’s mother was dragged for about 20 feet and was then run over by the vehicle. Prosecutors said she suffered a broken foot, broken ribs, and a punctured lung.

The boy jumped from the moving vehicle nearby, suffering minor injuries.

7 years for Loop carjacking

Treyvon Marks, 27, has pleaded guilty to carjacking a man at gunpoint in the Loop in June 2021. Judge Neera Walsh sentenced him to seven years.

Prosecutors said the victim pulled up to an apartment building in the 200 block of West Harrison to drop off his passengers when Marks walked up and pulled a gun from a bag. Marks drove away with the man’s Volkswagen, which he promptly crashed nearby. Chicago police arrested him as he tried to climb out of the wreckage.

6 years (plus 2 more)

A man who carjacked a woman in January 2021 while on bail for an armed robbery case has been sentenced to six years in prison for the hijacking. And two more years for the robbery.

The victim was backing into a parking space when Demetrius Brown stuck a gun through her open driver’s side window and placed the firearm barrel to her forehead, prosecutors alleged. The carjacking victim told police that her wallet, which contained a couple of $2 bills, was inside the vehicle.

Brown and two juveniles drove away with her Nissan Maxima, which police found about 45 minutes later with the two juveniles inside and Brown standing near the trunk. Brown allegedly had a $2 bill in his pocket when police arrested him.

Six months before the hijacking, prosecutors charged Brown with three counts of armed robbery with a firearm, according to CPD records. In that case, he was accused of pointing a loaded handgun at a victim and robbing them on the West Side. Brown went home after posting a $500 deposit bond in that case, records show.

Judge Kenneth Wadas sentenced Brown. The prison terms will be served consecutively.

4 years

Less than four months after a West Town man refused to pursue charges against John Daniels for carjacking him at gunpoint while he shoveled snow out of a parking spot, Daniels took an 11-year-old boy to Uptown, where they violently carjacked another man, prosecutors alleged in May 2021.

Daniels has pleaded guilty to vehicular hijacking and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in connection with the Uptown case. Judge Tyria Walton sentenced him to a pair of concurrent four-year prison sentences, according to court records.

The 59-year-old alleged victim was taking items out of his trunk in the 600 block of West Buena when someone repeatedly punched him in the face while demanding the keys to his car.

As the victim fell to the ground with a broken orbital bone, a nearby resident began recording the attack on their phone, according to prosecutors. The video shows Daniels standing over the fallen man and taking keys from his hand, prosecutors said.

All of the offenders piled into the victim’s car, and Daniels allegedly drove it away. About two hours later, a police squad car’s license plate reader recorded a hit on the stolen car’s license plate. The stolen car sped away from the CPD unit and crashed nearby. Officers saw Daniels bail out of the driver’s seat and run away, prosecutors said. Police arrested him and the 11-year-old moments later.

During Daniels’ initial bail hearing, a defense attorney said he had “a lot of mental health issues” and “needs help. He doesn’t need to be thrown in jail and throw away the key.”

In February 2021, two hijackers took a 28-year-old man’s Lexus at gunpoint as he tried to shovel a snowy parking spot in the 1400 block of North Cuyler. Less than two hours later, police found the stolen car and pulled it over. Officers detained the four occupants, including the driver — John Daniels.

While police were processing Daniels at the station, the victim’s driver’s license, debit card, and medical marijuana card fell out of his pants, according to a CPD arrest report. But the victim reportedly told police that he “felt sorry for” the people who took his Lexus and said, “they probably need a car.”

He refused to file any complaints.

Other cases

Here are a few more outcomes of carjacking cases we reported on. You can click the link in each item to read more about the allegations.

  • Deonta Sanchez, 26, received two consecutive 7½-year sentences from Judge William Hooks after pleading guilty to a pair of carjackings from 2021.
  • Chauncey Jordan, accused of carjacking two drivers in Bucktown while on bail for a pending gun case in January 2021, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon. Jordan, 21, received consecutive sentences of eight years and one year, respectively. Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil handled the case. Prosecutors dropped 16 felony charges, including vehicular hijacking, in their deal with Jordan.
  • Allen Brown, 20, lost a chunk of his eyebrow when an Uber driver bit him during a carjacking attempt in February 2021. According to court records, Judge Walowski sentenced him to three years when he pleaded guilty to attempted vehicular hijacking.
  • Cedrick White, a four-time felon, received a six-year sentence for hijacking an Amazon delivery truck near the Gold Coast in December 2020 while on parole for Class X armed habitual criminal.

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About CWBChicago 6704 Articles
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 news@cwbchicago.com