CHICAGO (CBS) — The alleged ringleader of the live-streamed torture of a kidnapped mentally disabled teen has been sentenced to eight years in prison, after pleading guilty to hate crime charges.
Jordan Hill, 20, pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated kidnapping and hate crime on Thursday. He was the third defendant to plead guilty in a case that made national headlines, when video of the torture was shared on Facebook Live.
The victim had been classmates with Hill at a west suburban alternative high school. Prosecutors said his ordeal began on New Year’s Eve 2016, when Hill picked up the victim at a McDonald’s in northwest suburban Streamwood, and drove him around for three days.
Prosecutors said Hill grew angry after the victim’s mother contacted him on Facebook to ask where her son was.
Hill allegedly took the victim to the West Side apartment of sisters Brittany and Tanishia Covington, where the incident took place.
Brittany Covington narrated a Facebook Live video of Hill, her sister, and Tesfaye Cooper tormenting the victim. The video shows them slapping, punching, taunting and threatening to kill the victim.
In the videos, the victim also is seen 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 was 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 defendants allegedly demanded $300 ransom from the victim’s mother to get him back.
The video drew widespread condemnation, including from then-President Barack Obama, who called the crime “despicable.” Without evidence, many people on social media also tied the video to the Black Lives Matter movement, although police have said they found no evidence the kidnapping was tied to Black Lives Matter or any other group.
Brittany and Tanishia Covington also have pleaded guilty to their roles in the case. Brittany Covington was sentenced to four years of probation last year. Tanishia Covington was sentenced to three years in prison in April.
The case against Cooper is pending.