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Violent Crime Spree Leads To Life In Prison

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Lawrence Coffee

Lawrence Coffee

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MARKHAM (CBS) – A man who went on a violent crime spree in southern Cook County and neighboring communities last spring has been sentenced to natural life in prison for the fatal shooting of a man during a robbery in a Lansing hotel room.

He also faces 105 years for a carjacking in Minooka.

Lawrence Coffee, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and armed robbery for the shooting death of Regan Lytle, 55, of Kentucky, according to a release from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Judge Luciano Panici sentenced him to natural life in prison.

According to prosecutors, Coffee and a co-defendant approached Lytle’s room at the Days Inn Hotel in Lansing on the evening of April 17 under the pretense of returning a phone book they had borrowed.

Coffee forced his way into the room at gunpoint and demanded Lytle’s cell phone, cash and car keys, the release said. The victim complied, but Coffee still shot him in the abdomen for not moving fast enough. Lytle was hospitalized before dying of the injuries on May 8.

After that shooting, Coffee went on a one-month crime spree, shooting at a 14-year-old boy in Gary, Ind.; pistol-whipping an elderly man in Chicago; and shooting a woman at a gas station during a carjacking in Minooka.

He was recently sentenced to 105 years in Grundy County for the latter incident.

Coffee’s co-defendant in the Lansing murder, Lavashia Connor, has also been charged with murder and armed robbery. Her case is pending before Judge Panici with a status hearing scheduled for Oct. 19.

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