Man charged with assault and robbery

Prosecutors last week charged a man with assaulting a Hamilton Tower resident last month and stealing her computer and some cash.

Stephen Brown Jr., 32, is being held in the Cole County Jail, with a $75,000 cash bond.

Associate Circuit Judge Thomas L. Sodergren on Thursday appointed the public defender’s office to handle Brown’s case.

Brown is charged with first-degree robbery, a Class A felony that could result in a 10- to 30-year prison sentence, or life, if he’s convicted.

Prosecutors also charged Brown with second-degree assault, a Class C felony with a possible sentence of up to seven years in prison.

A police probable cause statement said Brown and a woman were seen on the high rise building’s security cameras about 5:50 a.m. on Sept. 18, going with the victim from an apartment on one floor to her apartment on a different floor.

In an interview with police, the woman — who has not been charged in the case — said that, “when she witnessed (Brown) begin to beat the victim because she wouldn’t give him any money, (the woman) fled the apartment.”

Police reported the Housing Authority’s surveillance video showed her “hurrying out of the rear, ground floor exit of the building, alone, but (she) does not appear to be carrying anything.”

The victim, who was interviewed in the St. Mary’s Health Center emergency room for what the police described as “numerous bruises, contusions and swelling from a beating,” told police that a man “she knew only as Willie” had stolen about $1,200 and a new laptop computer from her apartment.

Police said several witnesses identified Brown as the attacker.

The police statement also said Brown might not appear in court if freed from jail “because he has no permanent local address and no ties to the community.”

The statement said Brown threatened “to kill the victim if she reported the assault/robbery to the police.”

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