Illinois man spent no time in prison for 6th felony gun conviction, now charged with 7th felony gun possession

Share:

CHICAGO, IL – Damien Stewart is building quite the resume. But it isn’t one you would find on LinkedIn.

He has racked up a total of 6 felony gun-related convictions since 2008.

And somehow, he was on the street to be charged with a potential 7th.

The prosecutor responsible for that fact? Risa Lanier. The same Risa Lanier that was the lead prosecutor in the original Jussie Smollett case. 

Her botched handling of that case led to an investigation into her boss, Kim Foxx. 

As noted by CWB Chicago, “unlike most people who bring embarrassment on their boss and fumble an assignment that launches deep scrutiny of one’s employer, Lanier was subsequently promoted to oversee all of the county’s prosecutions.”

Enter Stewart. 

Illinois man spent no time in prison for 6th felony gun conviction, now charged with 7th felony gun possession
Photo courtesy of thepostmillennial.com

When he was appearing for his 6th conviction, Lanier directed the prosecutor on Stewart’s case to make an “appropriate offer” based on evidence, the law and conversations with the victims. 

“So, I was not telling anyone to, you know, to give away the candy store or make any sweetheart deals, we want to ensure that the work that we’re doing that we’re continuing to do it with integrity, despite the circumstances that we’re under, but we do empower our [assistants] to look at their cases and to use their discretion,” Lanier said.

Here are the charges Stewart was facing: 

Class X armed habitual criminal, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon with previous convictions, ten counts of aggravated battery of police, aggravated assault of a peace officer by using a firearm, and DUI.

The charge of aggravated assault with a firearm carries a mandatory sentence of 6-30 years when ruled a class X felony. Stewart was looking at a serious stint in prison, potentially the rest of his life. 

Keep in mind, he was a 5-time convict for similar crimes. His other sentences included two years each for his first two convictions, three for his third, six for his fourth and five for his fifth.

His first five convictions netted him 18 years behind bars.

It is apparent that he didn’t serve the majority of that time, given that his convictions occurred in 2008 (2), 2009 (1), 2010 (1), and 2015 (1).  

His 6th conviction occurred in 2019, 4 years after his conviction that landed him in prison for 5 years. 

With all of that background included for context, we now proceed ahead in this story.

The prosecutor on his case offered him a deal. Cook County agreed to drop ALL of the charges against him except one, if he would agree to plead guilty to that one charge. That charge was felon in possession of a firearm with a previous conviction. 

But wait, Lanier said she wasn’t authorizing sweetheart deals.

Buckle up, it gets better.

The prosecutor reduced that remaining charge to a class 4 aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Class 4 is the lowest level felony in the state of Illinois. What was potentially going to be a long-term prison sentence was reduced down to 3 years.  

Let’s not forget that 11 of the 15 charges were for aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm of peace officer. 

Wait, we aren’t finished adding the ridiculousness that is this case. 

On May 6, 2019, Judge James Linn presided over the case and sentenced Stewart to three years. Then he announced that those three years were offset by the time he spent on an electronic monitor and in jail prior to pleading guilty. 

On May 7th, Stewart was assigned and transported to the Stateville Correctional Center. According to records from the Illinois Department of Corrections and obtained by CWB, he was also released that same day. 

It should come as no shock that Stewart was in court again on New Year’s Eve 2021. This time, the charges stemmed from gun-related issues. We will wait while you pretend to be surprised. 

On December 31st, he was charged with Class X armed habitual criminal, possessing an extended ammunition magazine, leaving the scene, failure to report as a gun offender, and filing a false police report.

Here is what led to those charges. 

On or about the 29th of December, Stewart, who was still on parole for the 2019 conviction, was contacted as part of a traffic stop. 

Police say that as they approached the vehicle, they witnessed Stewart making movements toward the back seat. He was alone in the vehicle. He provided the officer his driver’s license.

When the officers on the scene saw a semi-automatic handgun with an extended round magazine, they asked him to step out of the vehicle. Stewart refused, and when an officer attempted to open the door, he sped away. 

He did, however, leave his license behind. Stewart crashed his car three blocks away. When police arrived, the vehicle was unoccupied, and the gun was gone. Police recovered his wallet and his cell phone. 

A few hours later, Stewart walked into the 5th Police District station to report his vehicle stolen.

Police say that he entered wearing the same clothes he had on during the traffic stop. He claimed that the vehicle was stolen along with his wallet, cell phone and ID. 

Officers went outside to speak with a woman whom Stewart identified as his wife. 

According to Assistance State’s Attorney John Gnilka, said that the woman told police that she had a gun in the car, but she held a concealed carry permit.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a gun with an extended capacity magazine that matched the description of the one spotted during the earlier traffic stop.  

While Judge Mary Marubio set Stewart’s bond at $250,000, he cannot be released even if he posts the 10% required. At least not until the state can review his parole status and determine next steps in regard to these new charges. 

And people wonder why gun-related offenses are the way they are in Chicago. Primarily, progressive politicians and activist prosecutors who do everything they can to limit the amount of time violent criminals spend in a jail cell. 

Officer down: Off-duty officer killed in robbery and carjacking - teen woman under arrest

Lightfoot’s legacy: 2021 ends as gun-controlled Chicago’s deadliest year in a quarter century

CHICAGO, IL – Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot has led Chicago to a new milestone, marking 2021 as one of the most violent on record in Chi-town.

The year 2021 ended as one of the most violent on record in Chicago, as a rise in the number of shootings left more people dead than in any single year in a quarter-century, according to statistics released by the police department on Saturday.

The Chicago Police Department reported 797 homicides in the city in 2021, the most in Chicago since 1996 and more than any other city in the country. The 2021 figure was also 25 more incidents than in 2020 and 299 more than in 2019, according to the Associated Press.

The Chicago Sun-Times, which has tracked Chicago’s violent crime and homicides in its own database, set the number of homicides higher than the police department’s numbers.

The news outlet found that there were 800 homicides in 2021, capped by the murder of 23-year-old Sheridan Freeman, who was shot to death inside a residence on December 14.

The surge in homicides across the city led Mayor Lightfoot to request federal help controlling the violence. On December 20, the Democratic Mayor held a public address following a weekend that saw 23 shootings, including four fatalities in the city.

During the address, Lightfoot formally requested that United States Attorney General Merrick Garland send Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to Chicago for six months.

The mayor added that she asked for additional prosecution resources as well as U.S. Marshals to assist local law enforcement.

In a shocking departure from the Democratic party line, the mayor attributed some of the violence that was turning the city into a war zone to liberal judges releasing violent criminals on bond:

“We are in a crisis and state law explicitly requires judges to consider community safety in making individualized bond decisions.

“The cumulative effect of having almost 2,300 violent, dangerous offenders on the streets has reached a tipping point… Many of our neighborhoods are up for grabs.”

Chicago ended 2021 with more homicides than New York and Los Angeles, both of which had recorded at least 300 fewer homicides than Chicago for the year as of late December, according to police data from those cities.

Superintendent David Brown discussed the numbers during a news conference earlier this week:

“We all know this has been a challenging year here in the city of Chicago. Too many families are reeling from the loss of loved ones due to senseless gun violence.

“Too many residents are dealing with the ripple effects of this trauma due to crime in our community.”

 Brown has called for an increase in violent crime detectives from 1,100 to 1,300 during the first quarter of 2022 to help combat the rising violence.

The “Defund the Police” movement and liberal media and politicians attacking police has led to a mass exodus from the city, as Chicago lost hundreds of officers who moved on to other departments or left policing entirely.

Mayor Lightfoot slashed the Chicago Police Department budget by about $80 million in 2021, before changing tune after the violence began to rage out of control.

Reversing course, Lightfoot announced her city’s $16 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 would include increases for policing. The 2022 budget will boost police spending to $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2021.

But the move may be too little, too late. Regardless, Chief Brown said he hopes new recruits will help fill the shortages in the department and get policing back on track:

“There will be more officers on the street, not just in patrol cars or behind desks, to interact with all Chicagoans.

“We want to build on positive interactions between the community and law enforcement.

Brown pointed out that the Chicago Police Department took twice as many guns off the streets this year compared to last. In total, 701 guns were recovered by police across the city, with an increase in “ghost guns.”

The city recovered 455 “ghost guns,” meaning guns without serial numbers and often homemade, an increase of 71% from the 130 recovered last year.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blames retailers, not criminals, for increased crime and smash-and-grabs

December 10, 2021

 

 The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author. 

CHICAGO, IL- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot refuses to take the blame for increased crime and lootings in the city, instead blaming not the criminals but business owners, Gateway Pundit reports.

According to Fox Business:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed retailers for not making safety a priority amid a string of smash-and-grab thefts at retail stores in recent months.

“We still have retailers that won’t institute plans like having security officers in their stores, making sure that they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night, chaining high-end bags. These purses can be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units,” Lightfoot said Monday.

Rob. Karr, the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said Chicago businesses need the ‘finger pointing among leadership to stop.”

Groups of looters in masks have stormed stores in orchestrated plots to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise in downtown Chicago and the city’s suburbs.

 

Did you get that? It’s the purses that are attracting organized theft. Even those walking out of stores with Air Jordans and leather jackets…just caught up among the purses apparently.

Breitbart noted that Lightfoot prefaced her above comment by expressing her disappointment in some retailers.

“Some of the retailers downtown in Michigan Avenue. I will tell you, I’m disappointed that they are not doing more to take safety and make it a priority,” she said.

So, it’s the merchant’s fault. It’s not Lightfoot’s gutting of the Chicago Police Department, forcing members out if they refuse to take the jab.

It’s not the fault of District Attorney Kim Foxx, who has apparently made it her life’s mission to release virtually every criminal who enters the justice system in Cook County, home of Chicago.

It’s the retailers’ fault that when Foxx does actually press charges, those rarely see any significant time in jail.

As noted by John Nolte in Breitbart, it’s not the fault of Chicago Democrats who have been running the city for probably a century virtually unopposed in any real significant way.

Lightfoot, who is always in the running as the worst mayor in the U.S. instead blames store owners, whom she insinuates should either “create a private police force, lock up all their merchandise, or stop attracting crime with all their fancy merchandise,” Nolte proposes.

Of course, it is absolutely correct that as Nolte notes it is the highest priority, the number one job of government to protect the rights of its citizens.

Yet, Lightfoot, instead of blaming the criminals and turning inward and blaming policies of politicians such as herself instead turns and deflects the blame to the victims, in tis case the store owners.

Nolte rightly proposes that it isn’t necessary to lock everyone up in order to put a dent in the crime rate, only that the right people are locked up, proposing that if incarceration rates were increased by only five percent…the correct five percent, you could impact the crime rate by around 20 to 25 percent.

He is likely correct.

Statistics have shown that only 1% of the population are responsible for 63% of all the violent crime in the U.S. according to the National Institutes of Health. So obviously it isn’t necessary, as Nolte said to lock everyone up…only the right people.

That isn’t how its working however in cities from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles and every Democrat-run city in between.

Thanks to bail reform and criminal justice reform, Democrats are letting everyone go, no matter the crime from petty shoplifting all the way through to murder.

You see it every day where someone who was released from custody for a violent crime sometimes within a matter of days…even hours sometime…reoffends.

Nolte rightfully observes that clearly retailers are also responsible to protect themselves, and in many cases they have. Unfortunately, in more than a few cases, that protection, in the form of security officers or extra duty police officers, have found themselves becoming victims of crime.

That isn’t what Lightfoot is suggesting. He’s telling retailers to basically lock up their high-end merchandise and increase their private security forces.

That of course has been tried in some cases in cities, where attractive merchandise has been locked up, such as baby formula, razor blades, batteries and ethnic products, however those retailers have been met with allegations of racism. They can’t win.

It is of course convenient to blame the police for some of this, but they can only do so much. Nolte notes that out of the criminals running amuck in Chicago, it is likely the police have dealt with most of them at one time or another.

They do their jobs, arresting them only to see the courts and politicians such as Kim Foxx, beholden to the far left of her constituency and George Soros’ money, release them. Constantly.

All of this has led to people who are inclined toward criminal activity to have no fear of being locked up in jail. “If you remove the consequences, you are essentially legalizing criminal behavior,” Nolte said.

He is 100% correct.

Retail theft isn’t the only issue and Chicago isn’t the only place that it’s occurring. Homicide records across the country, many of which were set only one year ago, were broken again this year.

In fact, twelve cities in the country…all not so ironically run by Democrats have broken their own homicide records.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, and in fact has been widely predicted among law enforcement officials and media outlets such as Breitbart, Law Enforcement Today, and others predicted.

We, like Nolte, have no problem with common sense criminal justice reform. However, that should not include failure to prosecute anyone. That’s not bad policy, it’s insanity.

We hate to say we told you so, but we told you so. This was warned about and ignored, a classic case of Newton’s Third Law…for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This applies to physics, and it applies to the criminal justice system as well. You keep all the criminals out of jail, you get more crime.

It is a concept that Lori Lightfoot, Kim Foxx, and the rest of the Democrats have yet to learn. It is not, however lost on the American people.

 

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 

Facebook Follow First

 

Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts