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Judge orders 25 years for CVS robbery

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 5:04 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 5:05 p.m. CDT
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McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather instead sentenced Eric Sorenson to 25 years, 15 of which were a mandatory add-on because he used a firearm in the commission of a crime. Sorenson was accused of robbing a CVS pharmacist at gunpoint and making off with 300 Oxycodone pills.

WOODSTOCK – The defense attorney for a Crystal Lake man convicted of armed robbery, said Eric Sorenson had mental health issues and an addiction to pills at the time he went into a CVS pharmacy and robbed it at gunpoint.

When sentencing Sorenson to 25 years in prison, McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather on Wednesday didn't disagree, but added that "mental health issues and a drug addiction only make Mr. Sorenson more dangerous to the community when he's out."

Sorenson has been in custody since his late October 2012 arrest that stemmed from an armed robbery of a CVS pharmacy in Crystal Lake a month earlier. Sorenson brandished a gun when he demanded Oxycodone pills from the pharmacist.

Testimony at the sentencing hearing revealed that when Crystal Lake Police stopped his car Oct. 21, 2012, he was driving with three loaded guns – an AR-15, a Glock, and a sawed-off shotgun – along with a cache of ammunition.

He eventually was tied to the Sept. 2, 2012, armed robbery at the CVS.

When asking for a 35-year prison sentence, Assistant State's Attorney Robert Zalud detailed Sorenson's prior criminal history that dated back to 1999, when he was a juvenile – arrests included aggravated battery, theft, fraud and burglary. The prosecutor also noted Sorenson's supportive family.

"Every time Mr. Sorenson does something, his family and society are left to pick up the pieces for this 31-year-old adult," Zalud said.

In a statement before the court, Sorenson said he needn't "put on a big show" and gestured toward Zalud, before apologizing to his family.

"The only people I'm sorry for is my family for everything they had to go through for all of this," he said.

Sorenson's defense attorney Steve McArdle asked for the minimum sentence, or 21 years, in prison, and pointed to the CVS surveillance video jurors watched during the April trial.

"The weapon was displayed for only a matter of seconds, he never pointed it, and he quickly put it away," McArdle said.

Prather instead sentenced him to 25 years, 15 of which were a mandatory add-on because he used a firearm in the commission of a crime.

Sorenson is eligible for day-for-day credit.

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