An Elgin man has been convicted for his role in a summer 2013 gang fight outside a Villa Street business.
Laron C. Henyard, 29, of the 1200 block of Mallard Drive, Elgin, was convicted June 24, 2014, by a Kane County jury of one count of mob action, a Class 4 felony.
At about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2013, four members of an Elgin street gang arrived at a business in the 600 block of Villa Street, Elgin. When they arrived they saw members of a rival gang in the parking lot. They two gangs had been engaging in multiple violent confrontations for several years. The gang members immediately began to fight outside the business. Much of the incident was captured on video. When police arrived, all fight participants had dispersed. Police later found a video recording of the fight online and were able to identify eight of the participants.
After Henyard was identified as a fight participant and arrested, Henyard acknowledged that the two gangs had been involved in an ongoing feud that often involved violence, and that once charges were filed for the Aug. 16, 2013, fight, that the gang members agreed to stop fighting because of the high bail amounts associated with their arrests. Henyard’s bail for the fight was $20,000.
Henyard had been free on bond. Bond was revoked upon conviction and Henyard was taken into custody. Henyard’s next court appearance is set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 20, 2014, in Courtroom 311 at the Kane County Judicial Center in front of Circuit Judge Karen Simpson for motions and sentencing. Henyard faces a sentence of probation or between one and six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The other seven participants charged have either pleaded guilty or await trial.
“Gang violence degrades communities, silences vibrant neighborhoods and inhibits people from their daily routines. We hope this conviction puts gang members on notice that appropriate resources will be used to keep our community safe,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “Thanks to the Elgin Police Department’s Gang Unit for its hard work in investigating this case and preparing it for trial.”
The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Alex Bederka and Andrew Whitfield.
The charges against the other seven individuals in this case are not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office press release