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Life Sentence For Man Who Terrorized Oak Forest Family

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Charles Lawson, 31, was sentenced to life in prison for home invasion and aggravated kidnapping, for allegedly terrorizing an Oak Forest family in 2006 because he mistakenly thought they had drugs and money in their home. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff's Office)

Charles Lawson, 31, was sentenced to life in prison for home invasion and aggravated kidnapping, for allegedly terrorizing an Oak Forest family in 2006 because he mistakenly thought they had drugs and money in their home. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

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MARKHAM, Ill. (STMW) – A convicted felon was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for his role in a 2006 home invasion in which the homeowner and his family were terrorized at gunpoint by offenders who mistakenly believed there were drugs and money stashed in the house.

Charles Lawson, 31, of Chicago, was convicted of home invasion and aggravated kidnapping charges in connection with the 2006 incident in southwest suburban Oak Forest, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Lawson was eligible for the life sentence because of two prior Class X felony convictions — for armed robbery in 1998 and 2003 — and Judge James Rhodes imposed the sentence at the Markham Courthouse, a release from the state’s attorney’s office said.

According to prosecutors, Lawson and two other men targeted the 46-year-old homeowner as he was entering his front door because they mistakenly believed there were money and drugs were in the home, where the victim lived with his wife, three daughters and 82-year-old father.

Around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2006, the victim was returning home after going to the store and as he unlocked the front door, Lawson and Jason Thomas pointed guns at his head and forced their way inside the home.

The daughters, 17, 15 and 7, were forced at gunpoint into the basement to the bedroom of their 82–year-old grandfather, who was asleep, according to prosecutors. Lawson took one of the girls to look for money and drugs with the third suspect, Dornell Hicks.

When the homeowner’s wife, who was asleep upstairs, woke up and heard the commotion, she called police and the three suspects fled, but were later apprehended by police.

Hicks was convicted in 2008 of home invasion and aggravated kidnapping, and also sentenced to life

in prison. Thomas pleaded guilty in 2009 to home invasion and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

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

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