The four alleged perpetrators who live streamed their torturing of a mentally handicapped man in Chicago pled not guilty Friday to multiple felony charges.
The Cook County State Attorney’s Office in Illinois is formally charging 18-year-olds Tesfaye Cooper, Jordan Hill, Brittany Convington and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint, and hate crime.
Hill was also charged with robbery, residential burglary, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Brittany Covington and Cooper were also charged with residential burglary, according to CBS Chicago.
The graphic video shows the victim tied up with tape across his mouth, being beaten and cut with a knife. One of the assailants can be seen kicking the tied-up victim, while shouting “Fuck Donald Trump, nigga! Fuck white people, boy! Fuck white people, boy!”
Another video, which has since been removed, appeared to show the victim being forced to drink water straight from the toilet.
Public Defender Amy Campanelli called the media coverage of her four clients “sensationalized” and “pervasive,” according to CBS Chicago. She is also worried that the jury could be unrightfully affected by such news reporting.
The victim, an 18-year-old white man who is said to have been former school friends with Hill, has schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder.
The attackers are being charged with a hate crime because of his mental disability, the fact that all four defendants are black, and due to the nature of the crime, specifically what was said in the Facebook Live videos.
The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke to several lawyers around the time of the crime in question, and conceivably the perpetrators could be sentenced to 30 years in prison, perhaps even more, if they are found guilty.