The Lake County State's Attorney's office decided to charge 17-year-olds Joseph Mahoney and Josh Norris as adults because of "the serious nature of the crimes." and charged with a Class X felony, which carries mandatory prison terms.
“They were charged as adults because of the serious nature of the crimes,” said Ari Fisz, chief of felony review for the Lake County State’s Attorney's office. “There are a number of considerations and (the accusations) fell into this.”
Norris and Mahoney are charged with one count each of home invasion, a Class X felony, residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, and possession of a stolen firearm, a Class 2 felony. If found guilty, each defendant could receive six to 30 years in jail for home invasion, four to 15 years for burglary and three to seven for the gun claim.
“A Class X Felony is the most serious crime (in Illinois) short of first degree murder,” Fisz said. “If you are found guilty or plead guilty you cannot get probation,” he added explaining the mandatory prison provisions of the charge.
According to Fisz, a burglary occurs when a person enters a home to commit a theft or felony. A home invasion is more. “This is a burglary where the defendant injures someone or has a weapon.”
Though Mahoney’s attorney, Chris Cronson, recognizes the charges are serious on their face, he believes there will be a satisfactory resolution once the prosecution and the court understand the mitigating circumstances.
“There is substantial mitigation in the case,” Cronson said. “Once the mitigation is known we hope there will be a resolution with the complaining witness.” Cronson thinks there can be a solution satisfactory to everyone concerned.
At this time, Norris and Mahoney have been charged but there has been no formal indictment by the Lake County Grand Jury or a finding of probable cause by a judge in a preliminary hearing.
Mahoney and Norris are currently scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in Lake County Court in Waukegan. Fisz will decide by the end of August whether he will take the case to a grand jury or proceed with a preliminary hearing.
Norris' attorney did not return calls from Patch seeking comment.