Chicago Woman Faces Mandatory 6 Years in Prison for Kicking Sheriff’s Deputy’s Shin

Because Tina Hunt, 49, already has convictions in two violent crimes decades ago, under Illinois’ “three strikes” law she’s looking at the harsh penalty for a kick the deputy testified didn’t hurt or leave a mark.

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A West Side Chicago woman is facing a mandatory six years in prison for kicking a sheriff’s deputy in the shin, the Chicago Tribune reports

It all started in November 2013, when Tina Hunt, 49, went to the Cook County Criminal Court to attend her son’s court appearance, the news site reports. It was then that Hunt, 49, got into an altercation with sheriff’s deputies. After she was apprehended, a sheriff’s deputy said she kicked him in the shin during the struggle.

Because she had previous convictions in two violent crimes decades ago, Hunt now faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six years for her felony conviction on aggravated battery of a peace officer. The Tribune reports that the severity of the punishment is due to Illinois’ “three strikes” law. 

According to the Tribune, Hunt’s criminal record lists about six felony convictions. In 1987 she was convicted of armed robbery. While in prison, she was convicted twice of battery of correctional officers, resulting in her serving the entire six years of her sentence. In 1997 she returned to prison on a robbery conviction. Hunt, who has been charged under her maiden name, Silas, was most recently convicted of a 2003 drug possession, for which she spent a year in prison.

This 2014 conviction is her third Class 2 felony.

“It hurts bad,” Hunt told the Tribune. “If I go to the penitentiary for six years, I’m going to lose everything I have, my Section 8 [housing], my [government disability] check, my freedom.”

Hunt, the Tribune reports, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to her attorney.

According to the Tribune, at the trial last year, the deputy in question, Ivan Beal, testified that the kick did not hurt or leave a mark or require any medical attention. However, Beal did say that the kick was “insulting” and “provoking.” 

Fabio Valentini, the chief of criminal prosecutors for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office, said that Hunt’s criminal past, including her convictions for assaulting correctional officers, warrants the six-year minimum, since “she’s not exactly the poster child” for arguing against the law. 

“We’re going to ask the judge to follow the law,” he said.

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