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Richmond denies threatening probation officer

Jereme Richmond

Jereme Richmond

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Updated: June 18, 2013 6:37AM

Former Waukegan basketball star Jereme Richmond denied threatening his probation officer Thursday, May 16.

Richmond, 21, pleaded not guilty to telling his probation officer to “be real safe” through his attorney Lawrence Wade.

Richmond was about three months away from completing 18 months of probation for bringing a gun to his ex-girlfriend’s house in Waukegan Aug. 8, 2011. One of his probation terms is to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

He is accused of refusing to submit to a test April 22. He met with his probation officer April 25, which is when he is alleged to have told his offer to “be real safe,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Newman said.

The probation officer was going to testify against Richmond April 26 in a hearing to revoke Richmond’s probation, Newman said.

Richmond faces three to seven years in prison if he is convicted of Class 2 felony harassment of a witness, Circuit Judge John Phillips said. Richmond could also be sentenced to four years of probation, 18 to 30 months of periodic imprisonment and receive a fine up to $25,000, Phillips said.

Richmond is accused of telling his probation officer to “be safe” and then of circling the adult probation building in Waukegan. While “in full view” of the building, Richmond is accused of making a “hand gesture” in the shape of a gun and of making a “shooting gesture” toward his probation officer, Phillips said.

A trial date of June 10 was set for the new felony charges.

The petition to revoke Richmond’s probation is also still pending. Richmond is due back in court Monday, May 20, so Newman can decide whether to pursue the petition to revoke case or the harassment of a witness charges case first.

Richmond could be resentenced for the unlawful use of a weapon charge if the petition to revoke his probation is granted. That felony is punishable up to three years in prison.

Richmond is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Probation for bringing a loaded gun — unlawful use of a weapon — to his ex-girlfriend’s house is due to terminate July 23.

Richmond was also charged with aggravated battery for allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend Aug. 7, 2011. That charge was dropped after Richmond pleaded guilty to the weapons charge January of 2012.

Richmond is a former standout University of Illinois basketball player. He started in six of 31 games his freshman year. He declared for the NBA draft, but was not picked up. He was contracted to play basketball for semi pro Sauk Valley Predators in February 2013, but quit the team after less than two months via text message, co-owner and Director of Operations Leah Grenoble said.

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