A juvenile court judge has moved the case of a 13-year-old boy accused of participating in the Oct. 21 armed robbery of the Downtown 66 gas station to adult court.
Peoria County Judge Chris Fredericksen ruled that Shyeim Chapai, of 241 Hancock, would be tried as an adult after a hearing Monday afternoon in the juvenile division of Peoria County Circuit Court.
Within a day of the ruling, a Peoria County grand jury indicted Chapai on a charge of armed robbery. He will be arraigned Thursday. Bond was set at $150,000.
Assistant State’s Attorney Ken Wilhelm argued the case should be moved to adult court, which means Chapai would face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Had he remained in juvenile court, the case would have remained sealed, and any sentence would have ended when he turned 21.
The prosecutor showed the judge a video taken the night of the robbery. Chapai is allegedly seen walking into the station, pointing a handgun at the clerk and demanding money. Another boy, Danarious J. Kelly, 16, of 510 NE Adams St., Apt. 55, allegedly ran behind the counter, beat on the cash register and got about $500 before fleeing.
Kelly had already been charged as an adult on the same charge. His age and the charges made his case an automatic transfer,
Chapai’s attorney Chandra Justice told Fredericksen the case should remain in juvenile court. She cited her client’s past mental health issues as well as his age and lack of criminal history as reasons he should remain in the juvenile division.
Police were tipped to the boys after the clerk said he recognized one of them, and a fingerprint recovered at the gas station matched the boy. When questioned, Chapai allegedly admitted his involvement. Police later recovered the unloaded handgun.