CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge denied bail Friday to two men and two women accused of kidnapping a teenager with special needs, torturing him, and sharing live video of the attack on Facebook.
Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, have been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery, and hate crime, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Hill also was charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Hill, Cooper, and Brittany Covington also were charged with residential burglary.
The four suspects made their first court appearance Friday afternoon, and Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesel ordered them held without bail.
“Where was the basic sense of decency that each of you should have had? Where was it? I don’t see it,” she said.
According to Cook County prosecutors, Hill knew the victim. The two had attended the same alternative school in Aurora.
Prosecutors said the victim, an 18-year-old man, has schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder. The suspects were charged with a hate crime because of his mental disability and his race. The victim is white, and all four suspects are black.
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Police have said the victim’s parents dropped him off at McDonald’s on New Year’s Eve, so he could meet a friend and spend the night at his friend’s home. Hill allegedly picked him up there a short time later in a stolen vehicle and took him to the West Side of Chicago.
Hill allegedly drove around the West Side for the next few days, and the victim slept at night in the back of the van. Prosecutors said Hill grew angry after the victim’s mother contacted him on Facebook to ask where her son was.
On Tuesday, Hill allegedly took the victim to the Covington sisters’ home on the 3400 block of West Lexington Street, where they bound him, beat him, cut him, and tortured him for about six hours. They posted a live video of the attack on Facebook, and at least one other video surfaced on Twitter.
The videos showed the victim backed into a corner, his mouth duct-taped shut. The victim’s clothes were cut, he was peppered with cigarette ashes, and then his hair cut with a knife until his scalp bled. He also was forced to lick the floor, drink from a toilet, and say “F*** Donald Trump,” “F*** white people,” and “I love black people,” police and prosecutors have said.
The suspects allegedly demanded $300 ransom from the victim’s mother to get him back.
Priscilla Covington, grandmother of the sisters charged in the crime, said she didn’t raise them to behave that way.
“I’m sorry this happened to the family,” she told reporters at the Cook County courthouse.