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.