May 21, 2013 | 03:24 PMELKHORN — A 26-year-old Elgin, Ill., man who was part of a group that was responsible for multiple armed robberies in Wisconsin and Illinois pleaded guilty May 7 to three felony charges in Walworth County Circuit Court.
Terrance Cortez Walker Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced June 27. Each felony count of armed robbery carries a maximum penalty of $100,000 in fines and 40 years imprisonment.
Walker was arrested in 2009. Walker and others were arrested in connection with an armed robbery ring that was linked to more than 20 thefts.
Those thefts occurred in northern Lake County, Illinois, and southern Wisconsin.
According to the criminal complaint:
On April 30, 2009, at about 12:28 a.m., police officers from Lake Geneva, Delavan, Elkhorn, Williams Bay and Bloomfield were dispatched to the Comfort Suites for a report of a robbery.
The hotel employee told police that a person wearing blue jeans, a gray hoodie sweatshirt and a black bandana over his or her face approached the front desk and displayed a handgun.
The robber pointed the gun into the air and demanded the employee open the register. When the register was opened the robber gave the employee a plastic bag and demanded that the cash be placed in the bag.
On May 17, 2009, at about 9:56 p.m., deputies responded to the Lyons gas station for a report of an armed robbery. The robber, who was wearing a handkerchief, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money.
On June 12, 2009, at about 11:04 p.m., two Domino's Pizza employees were getting delivery bags ready for the next day. As they were preparing the bags, they heard an alarm, which meant that someone entered the back door. The two employees initially thought that a delivery driver who had forgotten something had returned to the store.
Instead they were greeted with a man brandishing a gun and covering his face with a handkerchief. The robber demanded money, and the employees turned over the cash they had.
According to a Domino's employee, the man said, "Thank you" and quickly left.
On June 13, 2009, at about 9:59 p.m., officers were dispatched to the Williams Bay Citgo, on Elkhorn Road. The employee said a man wearing a yellow handkerchief over his face pulled a handgun out of a duffle bag and pointed it at the employee. The robber dropped the duffle bag onto the counter and demanded money. The employee said the gun was pointed at him the entire time.
On June 19, 2009, at about 10:07 p.m., Elkhorn police took a report of an armed robbery at the Mobil Gas Station. That clerk said two men wearing dark hoodies and bandanas over their faces entered the store and pointed guns at him.
On June 25, 2009, Michael Boyle was interviewed by the Lake Villa, Ill., Police Department. During that interview, Boyle said he was involved in robberies with Walker. Boyle, 46, told police he drove Walker to the Comfort Suites, and said that Walker went into the hotel and robbed it.
During an interview with police, on June 25, 2009, Walker told police he used a pellet gun during the robbery.
When shown a picture from the Williams Bay Citgo robbery, Walker told police it was him pointing a pellet gun in the picture.
He said he remembered that the clerk was really afraid.
Walker told police that he robbed the Domino's Pizza in Delavan with Boyle and Andrew Ballenger. Walker said he went into the Domino's alone armed with a pellet gun.
On June 30, 2009, a Kenosha police detective interviewed Ballenger, who admitted his involvement in the Domino's robbery.
Ballenger said Boyle planned the robberies, picked the locations and drove to them. Ballenger told police that Boyle would take part in the robberies or send people to the locations.
After being found guilty at jury trial of armed robbery, Ballenger was sentenced on Oct. 19, 2011, to four years in a state prison followed by six years of extended supervision. Ballenger is appealing that conviction.
Ballenger also has convictions for armed robbery in Kenosha County.
According to the state Department of Corrections website, Ballenger is scheduled to be released June 19, 2018.
On June 25, 2009, police interviewed Tyler J. Trnovec, of Silver Lake, about the robbery at the Elkhorn Mobil. Trnovec told police he entered the gas station with Walker and they both pointed pellet guns at the clerk.
As Trnovec left he yelled "GD Love." Walker told police that Boyle told them to yell this in an effort to throw police off and make them think gang members carried out the robberies.
Trnovec was 15 at the time of the robbery but has been waived into adult court. Trnovec pleaded guilty to a felony charge of armed robbery and was sentenced to eight years of probation.
Boyle has been charged with five counts of armed robbery in Walworth County and one count of misdemeanor theft. His court proceedings haven't started, and Assistant District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said Boyle is currently in custody in Illinois.