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Coroner IDs man robbed and beaten to death in Lake Villa

Jordan L. Toney (left) and Buddy W. Johnson (right)

The Lake County Coroner’s Office identified 58-year-old Jerry Griffith as the man robbed and beaten to death by two Lake Villa men on Saturday.

Jordan L. Toney, 19, of the 39000 block of North Poplar Street in Lake Villa, and Buddy W. Johnson, 20, of the 21600 block of West Birch Street in Lake Villa, have both been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

The Lake Villa Police Department was called at 10:30 p.m. Saturday to an area near the Walgreens in the 300 block of east Grand Avenue in Lake Villa for a report of an injured person in an alley. Police officers arrived and found Griffith dead.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said on Monday that Toney and Johnson robbed the man as he was walking home after making a purchase at a local business.

Covelli said that Toney and Johnson then ‘severally beat the man’ and he fell to the ground where he died from his injuries. Both of the suspects fled the scene but were later caught after police used video surveillance to identify them.

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Covelli also added that both of the suspects did not know the victim. An autopsy performed on Griffith confirmed that he died from multiple traumatic injuries, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said.

“This man did nothing wrong. He was an innocent victim, minding his own business when he encountered evil in that alley,” Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville said.

“This incident is not reflective of the community of Lake Villa, a family orientated town populated by great people. This was a tragic, senseless act of random violence that, unfortunately can occur anywhere,” Somerville added.

Johnson and Toney are both being held on a $5 million bond. They are scheduled to appear in court again on August 21.


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