An appeals court has vacated a Waukegan man’s 60-year sentence and ordered him to be re-sentenced for the murder of a 24-year-old woman he shot at a party in Waukegan.
Farid S. Rakin, 54, of Waukegan, was found guilty in January 2020 of two counts of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Ciera Q. Davis, 24, of Waukegan.
The shooting took place in the early morning hours on June 5, 2017, in the 1600 block of 11th Street in Waukegan.
Rakin and Davis, who were in a relationship together, got into a fight at a house party over allegations that Rakin cheated on Davis with another woman, prosecutors said.
Davis got into her vehicle and rammed it into Rakin’s car, which was unoccupied.
Rakin fired seven shots at Davis, striking her twice, as she drove away from the scene, prosecutors said.
Davis was transported to an area hospital by a friend and later died of her injuries.
Police initially charged a Kenosha woman, in addition to Rakin, with first-degree murder but the charge was dropped after detectives developed additional information on the case.
Rakin was taken into custody more than two months after the shooting at a motel in Racine, Wisconsin.
He was sentenced by Lake County Judge Patricia Fix in September 2020 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
“I wish everyone would have walked away that night, but we can’t turn the clock back,” Fix said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The paper reported that Rakin made a brief statement of apology to members of the Davis family in court.
“I lost a brother to gun violence, and I know the pain it caused my family. I know my apology may not be accepted, and I wouldn’t blame them,” Rakin said.
Rakin later appealed his sentence to the Illinois Second District Appellate Court, arguing his confession to the murder was involuntary and that the trial court improperly relied on elements of the offense to increase his sentence.
The Illinois Second District Appellate Court issued an order on Wednesday vacating Rakin’s sentencing and remanding the case back to Lake County for re-sentencing.
The appeals court said they vacated the sentence because the trial court may have considered improper factors that affected Rakin’s sentence.
According to a court transcript from Rakin’s sentencing hearing, Fix said, “I have to consider as a factor in aggravation that the defendant’s conduct caused and threatened serious physical harm. I appreciate and hear the defense arguments that this was an impulsive act, albeit, intentional as found by the jury. However, when somebody picks up a handgun and it’s loaded, by [its] very nature that action, once that handgun is discharged, causes and threatens serious bodily harm to another, which is the problem with handguns in our society.”
“But a careful review of the trial court’s comments shows that, in discussing the harm factor, the court was focused on the fact that Rakin had access to and used a gun, and caused Davis’s death—not on other circumstances of Rakin’s conduct and the harm he caused or threatened,” the appeals court said in their unanimous ruling.
A new sentencing hearing date has not been scheduled yet in Lake County Circuit Court, court records show.