URBANA – A man from Rantoul who admitted robbing a playroom employee was sentenced to nine years in prison on Wednesday.
Judge Randy Rosenbaum had this to tell Deshawn Burries-Brumfield, who told a parole officer that if things don’t go his way, his anger will be “triggered”.
“Life will never go your way all the time,” said the judge, citing examples as banal as switching off in traffic. “If that’s your trigger, you need to get the help you need with your drug problems.”
Burries-Brumfield, 22, pleaded guilty to robbery for placing an object on the head of a woman who worked at Lacy’s Place, 1710 W. Bradley Ave., C on March 6, 2020 and then stole cash from the till.
When a fingerprint linked him to the robbery in September, Buries-Brumfield claimed he had not used a real gun. A more serious armed robbery charge was dismissed in return for this plea. He is entitled to a good time for everyday life.
In order to intensify his sentence, the public prosecutor Kristin Alferink played a surveillance video for Rosenbaum that showed the attack for about a minute.
Alferink also called police officers investigating reports that on May 31, Burries-Brumfield was involved in four separate lootings, beating the mother of two of his children and stealing cash from a coworker in a fast food store – crimes, for the prosecution was dismissed or never filed under his negotiated plea agreement.
Police officers from Champaign, Urbana, and the University of Illinois testified that Burries-Brumfield was involved in two break-ins at Shell station in May 31, the day the city was looted following George Floyd’s murder by the Minneapolis police was 1406 N. Prospect Ave., C, where doors were broken and tobacco products and alcohol were stolen; a third at Pawn King, 1004 W. University Ave., U, where he broke windows with a hammer and gave video games and power tools to others; and a fourth at Flora Gems, 302 W. Kirby Ave., C, where exterior windows and cabinets were broken but no goods were taken.
A Champaign police officer also testified that he was caught on video on June 18, 2020 stealing $ 400 cash from a colleague’s purse at McDonald’s, 906 Bloomington Road, C.
A Rantoul police officer said Burries-Brumfield was involved in beating the same woman, the mother of his two children, in Rantoul on January 20 and 21, 2020.
To mitigate the problem, assistant defense attorney Matt Ham gave Rosenbaum medical records from the pavilion about Burries-Brumfield’s treatment of mental health problems and had his mother testify that he could live with her in Decatur.
Alferink applied for a 12-year prison term and found that Buries-Brumfield, as a teenager, was classified as a felon for heavy household battery and was convicted of misdemeanor and theft by adults. In each of his cases, she said he had failed parole and did nothing to address mental health or substance abuse issues that underlie his criminal behavior.
Ham argued that Burries-Brumfield is young, has serious untreated mental health problems, and that most of his crimes are property related. He said his client wanted to go to college and get into the construction business.
Burries-Brumfield told the judge that he had taken responsibility for his “anti-social acts” and acknowledged that he was on a “destructive path”.
“I cannot undo what is being done,” he said, begging for indulgence but saying he would take what the judge gave him.
Rosenbaum was impressed with Burries-Brumfield’s assumption of responsibility for his crimes, but noted that he pays no child support and has done little to get help for his mental health and substance abuse problems.
The judge agreed to recommend Burries-Brumfield to deal with these issues while he is incarcerated. His sentence was served for 171 days.