By Ruth Fuller
Special to the Tribune
3:21 PM EST, February 15, 2013
Former Illini basketball player Jereme Richmond must serve eight days in the Lake County Jail, but he’ll still be able to join a Premier Basketball League team, a judge ruled today.
The modification to Richmond’s probation for a weapons violation came after a conference between the Waukegan man’s defense attorney, the prosecutor, his probation officer and Lake County Circuit Court Judge John Phillips. The conference was in response to a prosecution petition to revoke Richmond’s probation after he allegedly missed several court-mandated drug and violence classes.
The former Waukegan High School basketball standout, 20, was arrested in August 2011 in Waukegan and accused of punching his ex-girlfriend and threatening her family with a gun. Richmond pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon and was sentenced to 18 months of probation in January 2012.
The judge today sentenced Richmond to serve eight days in jail — on weekends only. He’ll only have to serve four days if he demonstrates good behavior, the judge noted. Richmond will report to jail every Friday morning and be released every Sunday morning until his sentence is complete.
Richmond will be allowed to join the Sauk Valley Predators in Sterling, Ill. He can attend practice there three afternoons per week and go to the games, which are on the weekends from March – June. He will also be allowed to workout in Waukegan in the mornings four days a week, Phillips said.
Richmond must continue to attend drug and violence prevention classes and has to be tested for drugs and alcohol after each game, Phillips ordered. If he is not doing something that has been court-sanctioned he will be on a 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. curfew until the end of his probation, on July 23, 2013.
Richmond’s attorney, Lawrence Wade, said the basketball player is ready to move forward with a new career and a positive attitude.
“We understand how we got here and we understand where we are going,” Wade said. “There were some ups and downs in the past, but those were in the past. He’s really focused on training and doing what he has to do.”
Richmond left the Illini after his freshman season and wasn't selected in the 2011 NBA draft.
Phillips gave Richmond some words of advice and warning to ensure that he stick to his rigorous schedule and take advantage of the opportunity he was being given.
“I hope you succeed and I hope (this opportunity) leads to something else,” Phillips said. “If you succeed, God bless you. If you don’t, it’s your own fault.”