Boys Who Threw Bricks At Elderly Woman’s Home Get Probation

Updated: 12/20/10 5:10 p.m.

CHICAGO (STMW) – Two schoolboys who threw bricks at an elderly South Shore homeowner have pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of a senior citizen and criminal damage.

But the 12- and 13-year-old boys will be sentenced to probation and won’t be locked up in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, Judge Andrew Berman said Monday morning.

The case hit the headlines in September when the boys’ 68-year-old victim, Margaret Matthews, shot the 12-year-old boy in the shoulder as he lobbed bricks at her from the roof of a shed at her home in the 7600 block of South Cole.

Matthews and several neighbors were ready to testify at trial Monday morning that both boys had terrorized the neighborhood for months, before Matthews finally snapped and opened fire as they smashed her windows. But both boys agreed to a last-minute plea deal.

Prosecutors agreed to drop felony aggravated battery charges against the boys in return for their guilty pleas to misdemeanor aggravated assault and criminal damage.

The boys will be sentenced to “some form of probation,” on Jan. 26, Berman said. The terms will depend upon probation reports which have yet to be completed, the judge said.

Speaking outside court, Matthews said, “I don’t feel like justice has totally been carried out.”

Probation and restraining orders preventing the boys from contacting her or any of the witnesses were “not such a big deal,” she said, adding that she thought the boys needed “some stronger order in their lives.”

Neither the boys nor their families have apologized to her, she said.

“They’re in denial,” she added.

Wearing jeans and jackets, and both standing under 5 feet tall before the judge, both boys spoke in voices little louder than a whisper to confirm that they understood their rights and wanted to plead guilty.

The 12-year-old and his family declined to comment as they left court, but the 13-year-old’s mother said “he never did anything,” before leaving without further comment.

The 12-year-old’s mother said in October that her son had been “traumatized” by being shot.

But Matthews neighbors said Monday that they thought both boys should have faced stiffer penalties and that they needed stronger parenting.

“This is just a slap on the wrist,” neighbor Tina McCoy said. “The parents are in denial — as long as they feel like their child did nothing wrong, they’ll be free to carry on.”

Even the bullet wound that the 12-year-old suffered won’t change him, another neighbor, Randolph Strahan Sr., said. “They need to pay back the community for what they did,” he added.

Matthews said she would “be keeping my eye out” for both boys and wouldn’t hesitate to call police on them again, though she hoped “they do something better and constructive with their lives.”

She said the shooting of the 12-year-old “wasn’t planned, but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing.”

The boys will be sentenced Jan. 26, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • CS

    The Tribune is reporting that the boys mother is defiant claiming he did nothing wrong.
    If this is accurate, someone should file a DCFS complaint against her for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

  • Vanessa Hill

    Don’t they know most of the senior citizens are packing? I hope the young man is ok and learned his lesson. As for the mother, someone need to terriorize her and then she will understand. You do not believe everything your child says over any adult. Look at the age diference.

    • Mr.Bag

      Good for Granny. She needss to learn to shoot for the center of the chest. I hope she, nor any other senior citizens have to endure this traumatizing by the youth/punks.

  • Debi3735

    I would agree, parents today need to remember that children LIE, if they dont, just watch the Bill Cosby skit about the 2 year old. Wisdom says believe you child until the story is unbelievable.

  • laura

    i get so tired of parents saying my child didnt do that.

  • Paul

    I doubt the kid learned a damn thing. I don’t care how you’re brought up, you have no conscience if you’re throwing bricks at people. He won’t change and will end up in prison.

  • Roberta Waker

    Know how you can tell this boy is lying? “When he opens his mouth” – quoted from Judge Judy. Hope he learns his lesson and also that he does serve some jail time or he will just go back to his terrorist ways. His mother needs to be investigated by DCFS and this boy taken away if she doesn’t know what her son has been doing or where he is late at night. She needs to wake up.

  • Tom

    Good for Ms. Matthews. My hero. Attention Chicago PD, FOP President Mark Donohoe; Next time you guys role out a float in a parade put her on it!

  • Parents Fault

    Give it another 5-6 years. These boys will end up in prison.

    • LAIKA


  • Laika


    I agree with you! Way to go Ms. Matthews…………. She should have shot the mom too! I get sick and tired of these disorderly heathens robbing and killing the innocent. We have the right to bear arms as US citizens! We do not have to put up wth this type of behavior. If more people were like Ms. Matthews, we would have less crime.

  • Sharon

    These two a-holes and their mothers should be locked up, why would the courts even accept a plea? I agree Mr. Bag….aim for the chest next time and yes Tom, put her on a float. These dirt bags are disgusting and will no doubt hurt someone else and end up in prison anyway…and their incredibly intelligent mothers will continue to cry on tv and claim what good boys they are how they were turning their lives around. Vomit.

  • Deej

    This woman is a hero. We have to resist the disintegration of our society on many levels, and it’s taking an 68-year-old lady to show us what needs to be done. We’ve got to stop buckling under and feeling sorry for people who know right from wrong but consciously chose to do wrong. And good grief, parents, of all people, should be leading kids to do right, not blindly defending them when they do evil things… that’s just pitiful.

  • Roberta Waker

    Plea deal??? This sucks. If it was a one time incident I could understand it; but ALL the neighbors said these boys terrorized the neighborhood and they SHOULD serve jail time. The DA needs to be fired for pleading out this case. What will they say when these boys kill someone?? Will they plead out that one too?

  • Teshome Maurice Garner

    Good enough for their tales messing with that old lady. I bet they learn their lesson, leave old folks

  • Boy Gets Probation For Throwing Bricks At Woman’s Home « CBS Chicago

    […] He received probation because he had never been arrested before. […]

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