Man Sentenced to 35 Years for '$10 Murder' of 61-Year-Old

Brandon Lee Allen Hinton, of Hazel Crest, gets 35 years for murder of John Costulas who died of his injuries in September 2011 robbery.

Brandon Lee Allen Hinton will serve 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the murder of John Costulas. Credit: Evanston Police Department
Brandon Lee Allen Hinton will serve 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the murder of John Costulas. Credit: Evanston Police Department

A Cook County Judge sentenced a Hazel Crest man to 35 years for the murder of 61-year-old John Costulas who was severely beaten and robbed on Howard Street in September 2011.

Costulas, who wore a hearing aid and used a cane, was walking to work in the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2011, when he was jumped and robbed by Brandon Lee Allen Hinton.

Hinton, 28, and a friend had been drinking all night and were waiting for stores to open on Howard Street so they could continue their liquor binge, court testimony said.

After Costulas fell to the ground unconscious near the Marathon gas station in the 500 block of West Howard, Hinton rifled through the older man’s wallet and took $10. His friend watched for witnesses.

The two men left Costulas bleeding and unconcious on the sidewalk while they went to the friend’s apartment in Rogers Park.

Hinton returned to the scene of the crime 20 minutes later but did not see Costulas. The older man died of his injuries after lapsing into a coma eight days later.

During police interrogation, police said Hinton burst into tears when informed of the older man’s death, stating, "I didn’t want him to die, man.”

His friend, who turned himself into police, was not charged.

A jury convicted Hinton of first-degree murder last September. Hinton will serve his sentence in an Illinois Department of Corrections facility.

Jordan S. Zoot February 07, 2014 at 04:47 PM
Hmm.....I wonder what it costs the taxpayers to keep someone in prison for 35 years. Cook County Jail has an electric chair....its truly too bad they aren't making regular use of it.
Patricia February 08, 2014 at 07:33 AM
Patricia February 8, 2014 at 06:31 am OMG? Two lives ruined along with the lives of everyone who knew and loved both of these men. Robbery was bad enough, but the brutality of the act and then to leave him? I RARELY AGREE WITH MOST COMMENTS ON THE PATCH, BUT IN THIS INSTANCE I AM INFURIATED THAT A 61 YEAR OLD MAN IS DEAD AND WE WILL KEEP THE KILLER ALIVE AT TAXPAYER'S EXPENSE FOR 35 YEARS! It just doesn't seem fair. The brutality and senselessness of the act is what has infuriated me.
Javi Javs February 08, 2014 at 08:48 AM
Where is the Death Penalty when you need one? Evanston needs to step up the efforts to fight crime in South Evanston.
KJL February 08, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Ths is such a tragic occurrence. I think the charges and sentence was correct. I only wish former Mayor Daley's nephew had been given the same sentence when he did basically the same thing but he got 30 days and will probably never have to serve a day...
el debarge February 08, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Will finally be able to get that GED he's been working on. Free food too!!!
jim February 08, 2014 at 09:54 AM
KJL you should read the stores your making comments about so you get your FACTS RIGHT
Dan February 08, 2014 at 10:33 AM
I am speechless. In the heat of the moment people will kill. But to bash a guy's head in for his wallet....a senior walking with a cane so you can go get high? And Barry Marquez deciding to take the L and wait for women to exit so he can sexually assault them? These are not even fair fights. And the guy who robbed the banks...walks to down town Evanston-what was he going to do, have a grand lunch with his moneys after he stuck a gun in someone's face-someone who has to stand all day and does not know if they will meet their expenses for the month? I deplore suffering and this is why I condone how Swedan manages its affairs, but when your basic needs are met, to commit these crimes? Where are our priorities and our mind sets?
Tantor February 08, 2014 at 11:34 AM
As our Mayor has said in an interview with Patch, what we need in Evanston is more jobs, then fewer of these bad things would happen. There is too much social injustice in our world. Maybe if this poor young man had been helped by Curt's Cafe, he would not have done this. We dont know the facts of his life. Maybe he was abused as a child. Maybe he was raised in poverty. He probably suffered discrimination all his life. People are the product of their environment. They dont have free will. A human life is more valuable than anything. Let us know the facts before we speak. He was drinking. He was in bad company. He is a human being.
Dan February 08, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Dan February 08, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Anger can certainly burgeon in one Preston's mind over the years. Good point.
Dan February 08, 2014 at 01:35 PM
Festus McMoron February 08, 2014 at 06:21 PM
...for your info, the 61-year old was living in an anxiter center building for senior with disabilities. so really what brandon l. a. hinton did was beat to death an invalid. this should have been a clear cut-and-dry case of the death penalty. no if-ands-or-buts. he should have been put to death the same day as his sentencing. now it will cost taxpayers over $1,000,000 to keep him fed in a nice warm cell. i'd gladly be his executioner.
Frank Leeza February 08, 2014 at 07:52 PM
My god, I understand the anger, but the violence in these responses is scary. Why don't we go back to drawing and quartering while we're at it. We don't live in the dark ages and we're not supposed to act like the criminals we put away. We're better than that, right? Sheesh.
Jordan S. Zoot February 08, 2014 at 07:58 PM
Frank....drawing and quartering would be a GREAT idea but I would settle for the electric chair....its more humane muahahahahaaha
Dan February 09, 2014 at 05:16 AM
If I could just get between Frank and Zoot appearing like a Butterfly McQueen look alike attempting to ease the tensions I would be one happy camper. Look, severe libidinal character pathological disorders are likely what motivates thugs to act, these elements have destroyed my family and are destroying our nation. I say medicate!


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