Former Waukegan basketball star found guilty
By Jim Newton email@example.com August 8, 2013 9:08PM
Jereme Richmond’s crime time
Aug. 8, 2011: Arrested and charged with several felonies including aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, battery, possession of a firearm and assault. He is also charged with domestic battery and disorderly conduct.
Oct. 22, 2011: Taken back to jail after testing positive on Oct. 5 for marijuana while out on bond.
Nov. 7,.2011: In court resolving issues about residency, after moving from an uncle’s home to his parents’.
Dec. 22, 2011: Judge placed him on 24-hour curfew after learning he violated his curfew terms.
Jan. 22, 2012: Sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated use of a weapon.
Oct. 25, 2012: Sent back to jail for violating terms of his probation (tested positive for marijuana, had curfew violation and missed a session of a domestic-battery treatment program.)
Oct. 29, 2012: Released from Lake County Jail on $50,000 personal recognizance bond and placed on 24-hour curfew.
Dec. 15, 2012: Judge gave him “one last chance” to follow all terms of probation.
Feb. 6, 2013: A judge denied his request to move to Sterling to play with Sauk Valley in the semi-pro Premier Basketball League.
Feb. 14, 2013: After a judge’s ruling regarding his playing was reversed, he played in season opener with Sauk Valley and had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a victory.
Feb. 15, 2013: Sentenced to serve four days in jail for probabion violations
April 26, 2013: Back in jail accused of refusing to submit to a drug test and of making indirect threats gainst his probation officer when he went in for a drug test.
May 1, 2013: Judge refused to reduce bond, which is now $250,000.
May 16, 2013: Denies threatening his probabion officer and pleads not guilty to charges related to incident.
Aug. 5, 2013: Jury selected in his trial on charges of threatening his probation officer.
Aug. 7: Jury selection for his trial and opening statemens.
Aug. 8: Closing arguments. Jury begins deliberations.
Updated: October 8, 2013 2:39AM
After deliberating for more than six hours, the jury in the trial of former Waukegan basketball star Jereme Richmond found him guilty on two of three counts of harassment of a witness, including conveying a threat of personal injury.
With the the Class 2 felony convictions, he faces a sentence ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept 26.
According to prosecutors, the harassment charges resulted from verbal threats and shooting gestures Richmond made after he became upset when his probation officer wouldn’t let him take a make-up drug test instead of requiring him to appear in court for allegedly violating conditions of his probation.
The case centered on incidents Thursday, April 25, a day before the probation officer was scheduled to state in a court hearing the next day that Richmond had not taken a scheduled drug test that Monday and failed to do so Tuesday, too, when she and another officer visited his home.
Just before the probation office closed on April 25, Richmond came in and wanted to submit a urine test in lieu of the previously missed tests. The probation officer refused him, saying the office was closing for the day and she would see him in court the next morning.
Officials said Richmond, who was upset, told the officer to “be safe. be real safe,” as he was leaving the building. He then waited across the street in his parked car for several minutes before backing out of the spot and making what two secretaries and an IT employee, who were watching out of a window, described as shooting gestures with his hand before circling the office in the car and being pulled over by sheriff’s deputies.
In closing arguments, Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Newman portrayed Richmond as someone who tried to manipulate the probation system - first by attempting to schedule his drug testing on his timeline instead of the court’s, and then by harassing his probation officer on the eve of his court date.
“We’re not on a basketball court,” Newman told the jury. “He’s not working a ref to get a call. You don’t work your probation officer. They are a witness and it’s illegal.”
Defense attorney Lawrence Wade repeated his contention from opening statements that employees of the probation office worked themselves into a state of hysteria and saw threats that did not exist. “It’s like the big fish story,” Wade said. “Over time it grows out of proportion and the story gets bigger and better every time you hear it.”
Wade also reiterated differences in the details of some of the events recounted by witnesses who testified.
Richmond has remained in Lake County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond since the incident. His bond was revoked after a request by the state’s attorney.
He also faced a hearing on Friday on the initial violation of probation allegations for missing drug tests that led to the harassment convictions. If found guilty of the Class 4 felony, he could face one to three years in prison.
That case was continued until 9 a.m. Sept. 24.