5 Plead Guilty in Anti-Racist Attack at Tinley Park Restaurant

Andy Grimm, Chicago Tribune, January 4, 2013

Five men charged in connection with a brawl between alleged white supremacists and anti-racists inside a Tinley Park restaurant pleaded guilty today and will serve sentences ranging from 3 ½ to 6 years in prison.

At a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence in the case Friday, brothers Dylan, Cody and Jason Sutherlin and co-defendants Alex Stuck and John S. Tucker all agreed to plea deals with prosecutors, pleading guilty to three of the 37 counts they were charged with.

{snip}

The five men, all from the Bloomington, Ind., area, are members of the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, and had driven to Tinley Park May 19 to confront a group of alleged white supremacists who had planned to meet at the restaurant.

The Sutherlins have maintained they had planned to stage a “peaceful protest,” but security video shows as many as 18 men entering Ashford House, some wearing masks and carrying batons and other club-like objects. Within minutes, a melee broke out among the two groups, and several bystanders also were injured in the scuffle.

In all, the five men faced 37 felony counts, and prosecutors pushed for maximum sentences of 7 years on each, based on the most serious charge, armed violence. {snip}

As at previous hearings in the case, a crowd of supporters filled the courtroom, many of whom had written character references attesting to the men’s work with charitable organizations—including a domestic violence shelter, Barrido said.

Jason Sutherlin received a 6-year sentence, Dylan and Cody Sutherlin were sentenced to 5 years each, and Stuck and Tucker each received 3 ½ years.

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