Son to spend time in jail with father he never knew
September 29, 2012 6:56PM
Updated: November 1, 2012 6:35AM
Our family is only part of our legacy. Our own actions have the greatest effect on both of those things.
On Wednesday, Vernon C. McCormick Jr., 24, was sentenced to 85 years in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Deonte Lesley.
On Jan. 3, 2011, Deonte was playing video games with some friends in a bedroom in their home in the 400 block of Fairmont Avenue in Lockport Township. McCormick was waiting outside to get revenge on Deonte’s brother, Jevon, 19, a rival gang member who McCormick believed had killed his friend.
Prosecutors said he opened fire when he saw people moving and someone opened a window for air.
McCormick shot 10 rounds into the blinds.
The bullets grazed the arm of 16-year-old Jordan Edwards, Deonte’s cousin, and injured Shadon McDonald, 17. Deonte was struck in the head and was pronounced dead in the emergency room 45 minutes later.
Four days after Deonte’s murder, McCormick was arrested on aggravated battery charges for an unrelated incident and sat in jail for six months before he was charged with the murder.
Three days after McCormick was charged with his brother’s murder, Jevon Lesley reportedly got into a gang dispute outside a boxing club in downtown Joliet and fired wildly into the crowd. Police say Lesley killed 18-year-old Anthony Fearn, a bystander with no gang connections.
Shortly before McCormick’s sentencing, police obtained a warrant that will put the man he’d wanted to kill behind bars for the rest of his life if he is convicted.
Jevon Lesley remains in prison on separate weapons charges, so it’s unlikely he’ll arrive at the Will County Jail before McCormick enters the state Department of Corrections.
So it appears only the first half the tattoo on McCormick’s chest that reads “Keep Family Close — Enemies Closer” will apply.
At Wednesday’s sentencing, McCormick told the court he’d never spent a lot of time with his father.
But until he’s transferred from the county jail, he’ll be locked up with his dad, who was arrested on burglary charges last week.
Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton said officers were on patrol early Tuesday when they saw a silver Mitsubishi parked by itself in a lot in the 100 block of East Jackson Street.
“At 1:30 a.m. they drove by again and saw a green minivan parked right next to the Mitsubishi. When they approached they found the car had a broken window and Vernon C. McCormick Sr. starting the van,” Trafton said.
John G. Plump, 50, reportedly jumped in the passenger seat while carrying a crowbar as McCormick Sr., 49, sped away with police in pursuit. The chase lasted several minutes with McCormick Sr. committing numerous traffic violations, Trafton said.
The van finally was stopped at Eastern Avenue and Jefferson Street, where police used a Taser to subdue McCormick Sr., reports said.
McCormick Sr. was charged with burglary, resisting arrest, two counts of fleeing from police, three counts of disregarding a stop sign, one count of disobeying a traffic light, two counts of driving without headlights, driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Brian Fink said family members are not automatically separated while being held at the jail, but the McCormicks would not necessarily be together either.
“Inmates’ classification comes into play for where they are housed,” he said.
So Vernon McCormick Jr. has a chance to spend time with the father he never knew.
Not that it matters now.