Thanks to her previous history with the law, a Chicago grandmother faces a minimum of six years in jail for allegedly kicking a police officer during a dispute.
Tina Hunt could get anywhere from 6 to 30 years in prison following an altercation with Chicago deputy Ivan Beat in November 2013, according to the Chicago Tribune. At the time of the incident, Hunt was at the Cook County criminal courthouse to support her son, who was facing drug charges. Says the report:
As she exited an elevator on the third floor, a deputy ordered Hunt to step out of the way to make way for jail inmates who were being taken to courtrooms because their secure elevator was out of order.
What happened next is disputed, but Hunt ended up being ordered into a stairwell and, after a loud argument with the deputy, told to leave the building. Hunt said the deputy and other officers followed her down the stairs and then arrested her in the courthouse lobby after she complained to two TV news cameramen about what was happening to her.
Ivan Beal testified that Hunt knocked over a bench and refused to sit down. Beal said he righted the bench and then forced Hunt to sit down by pushing down on her shoulder. She then kicked him on the left shin, he said.
Hunt was charged with a felony conviction for aggravated battery of a police officer and is expected to be sentenced today.
Beal told prosecutors he did not seek medical attention following the event, but thanks to Illinois’ version of the “three-strikes” law, Hunt will see jail time for the minor offense.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Hunt, who has been charged under her maiden name of Silas, has a lengthy criminal record, amassing six felony convictions, her most recent for a drug possession offense in 2003 for which she spent nearly a year in prison. Her two convictions for violence date some 20 to 30 years ago — an armed robbery conviction in 1987 and a robbery conviction in 1997. While in prison for the armed robbery, she was twice convicted of battery to correctional officers, resulting in her doing the entire six-year sentence. She returned to prison for the robbery conviction.
Her conviction last year for kicking the deputy sheriff marked her third Class 2 felony, leaving the judge with no recourse under Illinois law but to sentence her as a Class X offender — a category that includes convicted kidnappers, rapists, and carjackers. Hunt could be given anywhere from six to 30 years in prison though under Illinois law she could be freed after serving about half of her sentence if she stays out of trouble.
The 46-year-old has turned her life around and made her health a priority after open heart surgery in 2010.
“It really brings the devil out of you,” Hunt said about the conviction. “I’ve got a life. I may not be that happy in it, but I’m free. I can go to grocery store and get food, go to the laundromat and wash my clothes the way I like, go to the store and get my personals. I don’t want to be in no jail.”
Sheriff Tom Dart and a top assistant to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez support the prosecution. Hunt said she’s now in jeopardy of losing her Section 8 housing and her government disability checks. She was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder and takes medication for her heart and high blood pressure.
Hunt is still hopeful she can escape jail time.
SOURCE: The Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter, Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform