JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Wednesday that an 18-year-old man was sentenced to nine years in prison for forcing his way into the house of a Romeoville teen-ager and beating the youth in his own living room.
Eddie J. Craig, 18, of 250 Shannon Drive, Romeoville, was convicted in December of home invasion and aggravated battery at the conclusion of a bench trial before Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt.
The judge sentenced Craig on Wednesday to nine years for the home invasion, which is a Class X felony, and two years for the aggravated battery, which is a Class 3 felony. The two sentences will run concurrently.
Craig and three other individuals barged into the victim’s Romeoville house, where they proceeded to beat and kick him on the afternoon of Jan. 17, 2006. The victim, who did not know his attackers, suffered a concussion, a torn lip and multiple bruises and scratches during the beating.
Craig knocked on the victim’s front door and asked for a person named Tyrell. The victim, who is a high school honors student, said no one by that name lived in his house. Craig and another unidentified male knocked on the victim’s door a short time later and asked once again for Tyrell and received the same response.
Craig returned a third time with three other individuals. On this occasion, they forced their way into the house, beat the victim, and then fled.
“Craig and this gang of brutal thugs attacked an unsuspecting teen-ager in what should have been the safety and comfort of his own home,” Glasgow said. “The beating was so savage that the attackers left a shoe print on the young man’s face. Craig deserves every minute he spends behind bars.”
Romeoville detectives working the case developed leads pointing to Craig’s involvement in the attack. The victim identified Craig in a photo line up and testified against his attacker during the trial.
Police testimony during the trial revealed that Craig and the other attackers were searching door-to-door along that Romeoville block for a rival they believed to be in the neighborhood.
Glasgow credited Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Platek for securing a conviction based on the victim’s identification. The judge found the identification highly credible because the victim came face-to-face with Craig on three occasions that afternoon.
The state’s attorney also credited Romeoville police for pursuing the investigation aggressively and for bringing Craig to justice. Craig’s accomplices have yet to be identified. The investigation remains open.