Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks handed down 200 hours of community service and probation to a black Chicago woman who pleaded guilty to hate crime, aggravated battery, and intimidation of a white mentally disabled teenage boy in January, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Brittany Covington, 19, livestreamed on social media the torture of the 18-year-old victim who authorities say has schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder.
Covington is one of four black suspects charged in the incident that sparked national outrage when the video of the attack made its way around the internet.
Also charged are Jordan Hill, 19, Tesfaye Cooper, 19, and Covington’s sister, Tanishia, 25. In all, the suspects faced 50 counts that included kidnapping, a court official told TheBlaze. Their cases are still pending.
Hooks, who called the incident “horrific,” told Covington he could send her to prison for her crimes, but added, “I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better,” the Tribune reported.
The judge banned Covington from social media while she’s on probation and prohibited her from contact with Hill and Cooper. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dropped additional charges against her including kidnapping.
How did the victim end up with the suspects?
The incident started Dec. 31, 2016, when the victim’s mother dropped him off at a local McDonald’s to meet a friend.
Later that day, the teen called his mom and asked to spend the night with his friend.
The next day, he made the same request and then all communications with his mother stopped, according to the court documents. The victim’s brother got on Facebook and determined that the teen was with Jordan Hill.
Hill and the victim met each other while attending the same alternative school. The mother reached out to Hill asking to speak with her son and for Hill to return him home.
According to the court documents, the victim left McDonald’s with Hill and another suspect in a van that Hill had allegedly stolen. They drove to an undisclosed location and left the teen alone in the vehicle for what is believed to be two hours.
While the suspects were away from the van, the victim’s mother was reaching out to Hill. He was angry about it, so when he returned to the van, he beat the victim with his fists and took the victim’s phone.
They then drove to the apartment where Brittany Covington and her sister Tanishia met up with them for the remainder of the incident.
Over the next few days, the suspects allegedly beat the victim and, at some point, demanded the victim’s mother pay them a $300 ransom for the return of her son.
The victim was forced to say, “I love black people” and “f*** Trump.” He was also made to kiss the floor, the court documents said.
Hill allegedly cut a chunk of the victim’s hair, cutting the victim’s head in the process. Hill then allegedly stabbed the victim in his left forearm.
In the horrendous video, which often focuses on Brittany Covington’s face, the victim is shown bound with belts around his hands and neck. The suspects also put a sock in the teen’s mouth and covered it with duct tape.
Covington, who is seen smoking what appears to be a cigar stuffed with marijuana, narrates much of the video.
The victim is heard screaming when one of the men comes at him with a knife.
“Should I shank his ass?” the suspect asked.
The women in the video can be heard laughing as one of them hits the victim. The boy groans in pain as one of the men pulls a cord around his neck.
Voices are heard saying, “f*** Trump” and “f*** white people” and ” I don’t give a f*** if he’s schizophrenic.”
Multiple times throughout the video, the suspects threatened to kill the victim who can be heard screaming, “No!” They also forced him to drink water from the toilet.
The victim finally escaped Jan. 3 when neighbors called the police with a noise complaint coming from the apartment where the incident occurred. He was found by police and taken to a hospital where he received treatment for his cuts and stab wounds.
“He’s traumatized by the incident, and it’s very tough to communicate with him at this point,” police Commander Kevin Duffin said of the victim after the attack. His mother told police that her son idolized Hill and didn’t understand why he would do this to him.
Hooks called the terms of Brittany Covington’s probation strict and warned her she could face prison time if she violates any of the conditions.
It’s not clear when the other suspects are expected back in court.