DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Wheaton Chief of Police William Murphy announced today that bond has been denied for the second of two men accused of robbing at gunpoint a Wheaton T-Mobile store. Imari Paxton, 24 (d.o.b. 12/14/1997) of the 7400 block of S. Colfax, Chicago, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Margaret O’Connell granted the State’s motion to deny bond.
On Oct. 19, 2022, Judge O’Connell granted the State’s motion to deny bond for Paxton’s alleged accomplice, Marcus Melton, 28 (d.o.b. 2/25/1994) of the 0-100 block of Ironwood Court, Lafayette, Indiana. Both men have been charged with seven counts of Armed Robbery (Class X Felony), three counts of Aggravated Kidnapping (Class X Felony), three counts of Unlawful Restraint (Class 3 Felony) and three counts of Intimidation (Class 3 Felony). Paxton has also been charged with three counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 3 Felony) while Melton has been charged with four counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 3 Felony).
On May 30, 2020, at approximately 10 a.m., three employees at the Wheaton T-Mobile store located on Butterfield Road had just opened the store when one of the suspects allegedly entered the store, approached two of the employees behind the counter and then pulled out a handgun, put it to the back of one of the employees and demanded merchandise. It is alleged that two other suspects then entered the store and the three suspects led the employees to the back of the store. It is further alleged that the suspects ordered the employees at gunpoint to open three safes containing merchandise and cash. It is alleged that the suspects stole merchandise including approximately 20 cellular telephones, 15 Apple watches, one tablet and approximately $500 in cash. It is further alleged that prior to fleeing, the suspects restrained all three employees of the store with zip ties.
“It is alleged that these two men and two accomplices violently robbed at gunpoint a T-Mobile store in broad daylight while three female employees were just trying to make an honest living,” Berlin said. “In DuPage County, we will not allow violent crimes, as is alleged in this case, to take over our communities, and anyone suspected of such actions will be aggressively prosecuted. Thankfully, none of the women were physically injured. I thank the Wheaton Police Department for their outstanding work on this case. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alyssa Rabulinski, Grace Barsanti and Helen Kapas for their efforts in securing a strong prosecution against these two defendants.”
“I'm very proud of the investigation conducted by our officers and detectives,” Murphy said. “They understood how traumatizing this was for the employees, and they worked tirelessly to bring the offenders to justice. I cannot state strongly enough how important DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin's willingness to prosecute violent offenders is to the police department's role in maintaining the safety of our community.”
An investigation into the matter continues. Anyone with pertinent information is asked to call Lieutenant Brian Gabryel with the Wheaton Police Department at 630-260-2063.
The next scheduled court appearance for Imari is scheduled for Dec. 20, 2022, while the next scheduled appearance for Melton is scheduled for Oct. 28, 2022. The cases for both defendants will be heard in front of Judge O’Connell. If convicted, Paxton faces a penalty of between 21 and 45 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, while Melton faces a penalty of between 21 and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.