22 years for parolee who shot and robbed the president of an anti-recidivism group

CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to 22 years for shooting and robbing the president of a non-profit organization that works to reduce recidivism among parolees while on parole for robbery.

Curtis Edgleston, 23, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery by discharging a firearm and armed robbery on Tuesday, according to the clerk of court’s computer entry. Judge Neera Walsh handed down the sentence.

Edgleston spent March 16, 2022, working on a project for the victim’s organization. After work, he robbed the 55-year-old man in the victim’s truck, shot him in the face, and then shot him two more times in the chest, prosecutors said last year. They said he shot the victim twice more in the back as he ran for his life.

A history

Edgleston was on parole at the time of the shooting for a robbery and two thefts he committed while on probation for yet another theft case.

In the earliest case, from August 2018, Edgleston allegedly took a 15-year-old boy’s phone in New City, put his hand around the boy’s neck, put him in a headlock, and choked him, saying, “I’m gonna put you to sleep.”

Prosecutors initially charged him with robbery but later agreed to let him plead guilty to a reduced charge of theft in exchange for probation, according to court records.

While on probation in June 2019, Edgleston stole a woman’s phone at the Belmont CTA station in Lakeview and hopped on a southbound train, officials said. When it arrived at North and Clybourn, he swiped another woman’s phone and ran from the station.

Three days later, before police linked him to the CTA thefts, Edgleston took a woman’s phone by force on the 300 block of West North Avenue in Old Town and fought with her for control of her backpack. Police arrested him nearby, and he admitted to the crimes.

Judge William Gamboney sentenced him to three years for each case to be served concurrently, but state records show he was released from prison after spending 16 months in custody.

Edgleston linked up with the anti-recidivism program while staying at a halfway house on the South Side, officials said. The group’s 55-year-old organizer “works to reduce recidivism among parolees by developing life skills and providing job opportunities,” a prosecutor said during Edgleston’s initial bail hearing in March 2022.

Attempted murder and robbery

A few days after meeting the 55-year-old victim, the man took Edgleston to clean debris from a home. He later confronted Edgleston after noticing some coins were missing from a pouch in his truck.

Prosecutors said the situation escalated into an argument, and the victim eventually agreed to drop Edgleston off at the Cottage Grove Green Line station. But when they arrived, Edgleston demanded more money than the victim had paid him for the day’s work, officials said. The victim refused.

Curtis Edgleston | Chicago Police Department

Edgleston allegedly pulled out a gun and shot him in the face, causing the victim to fall out of the truck and into Cottage Grove as cars and buses passed.

Prosecutors said Edgleston walked around the truck and shot the victim two more times in the chest. He picked up the man’s phone and demanded more money. After the victim handed over $800, he got up and tried to run away. Edgleston shot him twice in the back, prosecutors said.

Cameras at the CTA station reportedly captured the incident from a distance.

Chicago police arrested Edgleston about a block from the shooting scene. He had a handgun in his pants, the victim’s phone, a coin pouch, and over $800 cash, according to the initial allegations.

Prosecutors dropped multiple counts of attempted murder and 12 other felonies in Edgleston’s plea deal. His anticipated parole date is unavailable because he has not been transferred to Illinois Department of Corrections custody.

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