Prosecutor Explains Why Mahoney, Norris Charged as Adults

The Deerfield teens were charged in a Highland Park home invasion. Mahoney's attorney says there were mitigating circumstances that will help his client.

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.

For news about Deerfield and Highland Park in your mailbox every day, subscribe to the Patch newsletter. For more news and updates, like Highland Park and Deerfield Patch on Facebook.

Chilawyer August 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM
No one on this board can rule out aggravating circumstances, not known publicly, that warrant these severe charges. These "minors" broke into someone's home (purportedly a drug-dealing acquaintance) with a firearm. What if their plan was to rob and kill the person? You don't think a 17 year old is capable of killing someone? Go tell it to the Marines, who accept 17 year old enlistees (with parental permission).
jab Zion August 15, 2012 at 03:27 AM
it is truly sad for their families but still it does not undermine what they did. I agree that these boys made an impulsive move which has ruined the rest of their lives! I hope that they learn from their mistakes.
David Greenberg August 15, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Actually Illinois law considers someone to be an infant until their 13th birthday - no charging as an adult there. Between 13 and 17, you're still a minor but you can be charged as an adult if the crime is severe enough. Somehow I'm going to say that being charged with three felonies, one of which is a Class X, and one involving a firearm meets that criteria. These individuals were 17 - and unless they were insane or incompetent, old enough to realize right from wrong. Everyone who knows right from wrong realizes that you don't break into homes. You don't invade homes. And you don't use a firearm in the commission of a criminal act. The sooner we, as a society, stop fooling around and coddling criminals - the better. We need to send the strong message that this behavior is entirely, 100%, unequivocally unacceptable. Whatever the problem - they should have gone to their parents or the police.
David Greenberg August 15, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Let me pose this question to you. "How many minors should be allowed to commit home invasion, with or without a firearm" and not be charged as adults? What if they kill someone? Do we then charge them as adults? If we say that's the case, then we're effectively validating de facto home invasions by minors because they'll know that nothing real will happen to them. No real adult record. No real jail/prison time. They're out when they're 18, and then what? Juvey is basically finishing school for criminals, so in my opinion, they're going to get out and be even more dangerous.
Life is Good August 15, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Until they break into your house and have a firearm.
Chayyim August 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Dont send your kids to public schools folks
Doesnt matter August 18, 2012 at 04:49 AM
they're being charged as adults, just like everyone else would be who is an adult. If this isn't dealt with properly this will spark a nationwide argument.
Dan Michaels August 19, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Chayyim - what an entitled bitch. Im sure there are no drugs / violence at private schools ....
Kennith Wilson August 21, 2012 at 03:06 AM
All of you people are retarded
Kennith Wilson August 21, 2012 at 03:07 AM
If you send a kid to private school they will start doing coke
David Greenberg August 21, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Any they don't in D113? HA! Back when I was at HPHS, we had a bunch of fools who did it in the hallway right across from the cafeteria on the old wooden benches (now metal mesh). A few of those fools have since died - mainly due to their abuse of cocaine.
STOPTHEBASHING August 22, 2012 at 07:45 PM
WHY? are all you PATHETIC people leaving comments. Concerned citizens? PLEASE. Nobody in HP or DF have exciting life. HP and DF is the mecca of drama and opinions. I am the closes person leaving a comment on this situation and if circumstance were different. I would have been in that home the morning of the robbery. To the teens who rob that home..YOUR LUCKY I WASNT THERE THAT MORNING, CAUSE IF I WAS, I WOULD HAVE ATTACK YOU AND GOTTEN YOUR GUN, HOG TIED YOU AND THEN CALLED THE COPS. or I would have gotten shot and YOU PATHETIC teens would have been up on murder or attempt murder charges. Believe me the people reading this comment. If you can figure out who this is. Know that I wouldn't back down from two pathetic teens with guns. I have to much PRIDE for that. I would rather be shot. Then the pathetic DF teens, would be big bubba GF in prison for at least 15-20 years.
ronniethelimodriver August 30, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I like dick
Ralph Lauren September 01, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Mahoney likes it in the butt
David Greenburg<<<<< September 14, 2012 at 07:08 PM
David Greenburg<<<<< September 14, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Benny G. February 27, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Yea, take a look at the picture of these two alleged heinous felons...LOL
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:25 PM
I want to kiss this man
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:29 PM
I love you David
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:29 PM
I like your name... I might move to Deerfield
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM
You must have done cocaine David... I will let the Police know
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:32 PM
No sir, You like my cock in your butt.. But hey I like it too. You also probably have one Polo Ralph Lauren shirt and think you're the shit.
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:33 PM
I'm moving to Deerfield... I hope El Forno's is good... I love ovens
Chief Keef February 27, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Dav your crazy and chill on the commenting. You need a life or something. Just stop commenting go find some young girls. Your very cute!
Chief Keef February 27, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Chief Keef February 27, 2013 at 11:46 PM
David what the hell did I tell you. You need to get a hoe man come on... I will suck your dick if it comes do to it.
Chief Keef February 27, 2013 at 11:47 PM
your a bitch and should say that to his face! ok pussy I have mahoneys back
Chief Keef February 27, 2013 at 11:48 PM
This is true haha... They also a great school with a lot of kids that do drugs!
Adolf Hitler February 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Please hail everyone... thank you
Chief Keef February 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM
This is the true shit


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something