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October 7, 2015

An Aurora man will go to prison for breaking into a home in the middle of the night, beating one of the residents and stealing cash.

Earnest T. Jeffries, 40 (d.o.b. 3-31-1975), of the 600 block of Liberty Street, Aurora, was convicted Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, by a Kane County jury, of home invasion, a
Class X felony, armed robbery, a Class X felony, unlawful restraint, a Class 4 felony, and aggravated fleeing and eluding, a Class 4 felony.

Prosecutors presented evidence that at about 3:30 a.m. Aug. 28, 2014, Jeffries and co-defendant Steve Simmons, 41 (d.o.b. 8-9-1974), of Aurora, both masked, forced their way into a residence in the 800 block of Richard Street, Aurora. Two residents who had been sleeping awoke when the back door was kicked in. Jeffries and Simmons immediately began beating the male victim before they tied him up, held him at gunpoint and demanded money. Jeffries and Simmons ransacked the apartment looking for money. They found $2,800 in cash. The male victim freed himself and began to fight with Jeffries and Simmons. The fight continued outside as the female victim called police. Jeffries and Simmons eventually fled in Jeffries’ white Cadillac. Officers responding to the 911 call saw the white Cadillac speeding from the area and began to chase it. At some point Simmons jumped from the car and fled on foot. The car crashed a few blocks later and Jeffries fled on foot. Jeffries was found after police searched the neighborhood. Simmons was identified 10 months later through DNA evidence and taken into custody.

Associate Judge Clint Hull set Jeffries next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 19, 2015, for motions and sentencing. Jeffries faces a sentence of between six and 63 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Jeffries remains in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $750,000 bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.

Simmons pleaded guilty Oct. 2, 2015, to home invasion, a Class X felony. He was sentenced to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

“People expect to feel safe and secure in their own homes. When that security is violated by someone who invades their home in the middle of the night, that is a crime that victimizes an entire neighborhood,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

“Thanks to all at the Aurora Police Department for the quick response and thorough work during this investigation and trial, and to Assistant State’s Attorneys Christine Bayer, David Belshan and Joshua Lloyd, who prosecuted this complex case.” . .

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