Home invaders certainly aren’t practicing social distancing or complying with stay-at-home orders. And once more in Illinois, another violent home invasion happened in recent days. In Urbana, three teens picked a Marine Corps veteran’s apartment to break into. One of them was armed with a rifle and another with pepper spray.
In this case, the 25-year-old Marine disarmed the 15-year-old rifle-wielding intruder and crushed his windpipe. The other two, a 16-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, fled. Police apprehended the two and the would-be rifleman died in the hospital a couple of days later.
After the wayward yoot’s death, nearly two dozen family members and friends of the deceased rallied in front of the home invasion victim’s apartment. And in this time of a statewide lockdown, the victim and his family were almost certainly at home.
The “mourners” ignored the governor’s social distancing rules, and the requirement that all persons wear masks if they can’t stay six feet apart in public. One can’t help but think their gathering was intended to intimidate the victim with possible reprisals.
Mourners gathered and released balloons in memory of Davontae Brown, who died Friday, just days shy of his 16th birthday. https://t.co/z9RDnzMRsw
— The News-Gazette (@news_gazette) May 1, 2020
The local News-Gazette newspaper covered the story, and quotes a local assistant public defender who called the attacker’s death “heartbreaking.”
Case takes ‘heartbreaking’ turn
URBANA — Some 58 hours after making the fateful decision to break into an Urbana man’s home while armed, a Champaign teen died.
Davontae Brown, 15, died in the critical care unit of Carle Hospital in Urbana at 5:30 a.m. Friday, just days shy of his 16th birthday.
He never regained consciousness after passing out while in a chokehold applied by a man defending himself and his home Tuesday night. …
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said the official cause of Davontae’s death may not be known for weeks until further lab tests are completed…
One of Brown’s accomplices inadvertently helped the homeowner defend himself.
Davontae’s 16-year-old female cousin, police learned, had knocked on the man’s door and as a ruse to gain admission, asked if she could use his phone. He said no and began to close the door when Davontae, holding a rifle, made his unwelcome entry.
Another of his cousins, a 13-year-old boy, had also approached the house.
Urbana police Lt. Dave Smysor said he’s not certain if that youth actually made it all the way into the house.
When the 16-year-old girl sprayed pepper spray, it hit both the resident and Davontae but created enough of a distraction for the 25-year-old man, who had served in the Marines, to disarm Davontae and apply a chokehold until he quit struggling.
Later in the story, local criminal-friendly State’s Attorney Julia Rietz “said the justice system had tried repeatedly to get help for the now-deceased boy,” a kid who’d been involved with the city’s juvenile criminal Youth Assessment Center 13 times since he was nine years old.
Law enforcement sources told me that Brown was a frequent flier at the local juvy jail, with a long history of arrests for both property and violent offenses. In Champaign County, Illinois, the juvenile detention center only detains the worst of the worst juvenile offenders under SA Julia Reitz.
And as the cherry on top, Reitz isn’t charging the other two would-be home invaders with felony murder.
She did, however, go out of her way last year to prosecute a Marine veteran who shot a woman who threatened to kill him and advanced on him with a knife. Thankfully, a jury saw it as self-defense and acquitted the Marine.
As for 15-year-old Davontae Brown . . .
Assistant Public Defender Ramona Sullivan, who has previously represented Davontae, was clearly shaken by the news of what happened this week.
“I represent a lot of young kids. I can’t comment about any of them individually but I can say that they are often funny and sweet, frustrating and impulsive. And when they make the kind of mistake that can never be corrected, it is heartbreaking,” she said.