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Bad decisions on 'rough streets' draw consecutive 7-year sentences

Markilo Hayes was trying to protect his family both times that he was arrested for carrying loaded guns illegally in his neighborhood, his attorneys said.

He comes from a hardworking family living in a dangerous neighborhood, defense attorney Molly Jo Mussara said. His mother’s home was shot up for reasons unknown and his girlfriend was wounded in a drive-by shooting, she said.

Mussara asked Justice Deborah Haendiges to consider concurrent sentences for Hayes, who pleaded guilty in January to two separate instances of criminal possession of a weapon. At that time, the judge told him that, as a second violent felony offender, he faced consecutive mandatory minimum sentences of seven years on each count.

In rejecting Mussara’s requests for concurrent sentences, Haendiges pointed out that Hayes “got a bargain” with his plea. He originally was charged with attempted murder and assault in connection with a double shooting on Richlawn Avenue in March 2016, in addition to a previous gun charge.

And, although Hayes’ other attorney, Michael D’Amico, described him as softspoken and a gentleman, prosecutor Timothy Garvin countered that Hayes was not “passively” carrying a gun around either time when he was arrested.

In the first instance, Garvin said, Hayes was fighting with a member of his girlfriend’s family in January 2015 and threatened him with the weapon.

In the second instance, he pulled the trigger.

“He got out of his car and shot somebody, then got back in the car and tried to drive away,” Garvin said.

Hayes was arrested when he crashed the car and police found the weapon. The two men who were shot were taken to the hospital and survived.

With his family in court, Hayes tearfully apologized for the bad decisions he made in response to the threats on his family and said he was sorry to everyone affected, including his family and the victims.

“It really hurts a lot,” Hayes said. “I am sorry every day for what I did.”

“I don’t disagree that this is a tragedy all the way around,” Haendiges said. “I don’t disagree that it’s rough out there on the streets. But, you had a firearm and you took it to a fight. And you were found fleeing from the scene of a shooting. I think you got a bargain here by pleading to a ‘D’ violent felony.”

The judge pronounced the consecutive sentences, to be followed by five years post-release supervision, and wished Hayes and his family good luck.

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