Rockford Man Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Prison for Attempted Robbery and Firearm Charges
ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to 139 months in prison for attempted robbery and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
DARNELL LEAVY, 28, admitted in a written plea agreement that at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2015, he and others attempted to rob the Zake Convenience store, 824 7th St. in Rockford. As stated in Leavy's plea agreement, co-defendant RICKEY CLAYBRON, 33, of Rockford, entered the store first with a gun pointed at two clerks who were behind a glass enclosure. Leavy then entered and also began pointing a gun at the clerks. A third individual entered the store carrying a bag meant for the proceeds of the robbery. The employees of the store barricaded themselves in the glassed-in area where the registers were located. Leavy's plea agreement further states that Leavy tried to kick the door open, but was unsuccessful. In the meantime, Claybron came around the front of the glass enclosure and pointed his gun through the small hole in the front that is used to conduct business with customers, Leavy's plea agreement states. Eventually, Leavy and the other robbers gave up on the robbery and walked out of the store.
Leavy pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 22, 2019.
Leavy's sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The federal investigation was conducted by the FBI-led Rockford Area Violent Gang Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers and agents from the FBI, Rockford Police Department, Loves Park Police Department and Freeport Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider.
Claybron is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, three counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, and four counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Also charged in the case is DEANDRE R. HAYWOOD, also known as "Duke," 28, of Rockford. Haywood is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, three counts of robbery, and three counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Claybron and Haywood have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are in custody pending trial. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. Claybron and Haywood are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.