Man who fell asleep robbing Elgin pizzeria convicted of robbery - KMSP-TV

Man who fell asleep robbing Elgin pizzeria convicted of robbery, kidnapping

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ST. CHARLES, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

An Elgin man with a long criminal past faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison after being convicted of holding three employees captive for more than three hours while waiting for a time-lock safe to open.

Charles Fleming, 47, of the 300 block of Washington Street in Elgin, was convicted Wednesday by a Kane County jury of two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of armed violence. All are Class X felonies.

The jury deliberated for about an hour before reaching a verdict, the Elgin Courier-News is reporting.

According to evidence presented at the trial, at 11 p.m. Oct. 2, 2011, Fleming accosted two employees who were leaving the Little Caesar's Pizza restaurant at 551 N. McLean Blvd. in Elgin after it had closed. He forced them inside at gunpoint.

Fleming demanded money from the store safe, but the safe was on a time lock and couldn't be opened. Instead, Fleming took a small amount of cash from the store and the victims. Fleming continued to hold the victims inside the store at gunpoint. He beat one of the victims with a wooden rod, causing injury, and fired a handgun into the floor near where a victim was seated. About 2:30 a.m. Fleming fell asleep, and the victims escaped and called 911. When Elgin police arrived, Fleming ran out of the restaurant but he was apprehended a short time later.

Circuit Judge John A. Barsanti set Fleming's next court appearance for 1 p.m. Sept. 18 for post-trial motions. Barsanti set Fleming's sentencing hearing for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25.

Fleming faces a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison because of his two prior armed-robbery convictions. Fleming was convicted in 2000 in Cook County and was sentenced to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Fleming was convicted in 2008 in Cook County and was sentenced to six years in IDOC.

"Our thanks to these victims for the courage they showed in confronting and testifying against this career criminal. Thanks also to the Elgin Police Department, and to Kane County Assistant State's Attorneys Greg Sams and Vincent Coyle, who prosecuted the case," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said in a written statement.

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