Chicago Woman Guilty of Hate Crime, Beating of Disabled Teen on Facebook Live
A Chicago woman involved in the beating and torment of a mentally disabled man pleaded guilty on Friday, Dec. 8 to multiple charges and was sentenced to four years of probation, reported the Chicago Tribune.
A grisly video of the incident was live-streamed on Facebook, showing a man bound and gagged, being beaten and taunted, threatened with a knife, and forced to drink from a toilet.
“Horrific,” is what Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks called the racially charged incident, for which the woman pleaded guilty to aggravated battery, intimidation, and hate crime.
Brittany Covington, 19, has been in custody since her January arrest.
For her role in the incident, it is reported the judge banned Covington from social media for four years, prohibited her from contacting her co-defendants, and ordered her to perform 200 hours of community service.
Hooks opted for leniency in sentencing, but could have hit Covington with a prison term.
“I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better,” the Tribune reported the judge as saying.
The judge warned the defendant that if she violates any of the terms of her probation, she will serve time behind bars.
The plea deal saw prosecutors drop additional charges, including kidnapping, reported the Tribune.
The sickening video that Covington live-streamed often focuses on her face, as she smokes and narrates some of the group’s exploits.
The assault went on for up to two days, The Epoch Times reported, until Chicago police found the victim “in distress” walking along a street.
The suspects can be heard on the video using profanities against white people and then President-elect Donald Trump.
During the video, the victim does not appear to make any attempt to defend himself or to escape his attackers.
He is a suburban Chicago resident described by Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as having “mental health challenges.”
“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday, Jan. 4, The Epoch Times reported.
The victim had reportedly been classmates with one of the defendants at a west suburban alternative high school.
The cases of the remaining three defendants are still pending, reported WGN9 news, and they face the following charges:
- Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and residential burglary.
- Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and residential burglary.
- Tanishia Covington, 24, of Chicago, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Plea negotiations are in progress with the trio, all of whom have been in custody since their arrest.
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