A young East Peoria man was sentenced Monday to 21 years in prison for using a handgun to rob two men in one home and pistol-whip a third at his residence last November.
Cory Parker, 19, was one of three defendants charged with two counts of home invasion and one of armed robbery for the pre-dawn night of violence at two East Peoria homes. He pleaded guilty. Trials are scheduled later this month for the other two defendants.
While Parker received concurrent six-year terms for the Class X felonies, another 15 years was imposed for his use of a firearm in them. He’ll be required to serve at least half of the total sentence.
Parker drove to a home in the 100 block of Fauber Lane in rural north East Peoria before dawn Nov. 19 with Marquis German, 20, of Washington, and Corrie VanOppen, 24, of Peoria, to buy marijuana from its resident, one of the defendants told police. When their door knock was answered, they burst in with handguns they pointed at the heads of the two men inside, those victims told police.
While VanOppen tried to hide his face with his arm, one of the men recognized him as a co-worker. Parker and German, wearing bandannas over their faces, discussed killing the two before taking their cellphones, a computer, $100 in cash and other items, the victims said.
They fled and the victims called police, who were still at the home at 5 a.m. when they were alerted to another home invasion in the 100 block of Hawthorne Avenue in central East Peoria.
A man there said that moments after he refused to answer a knock at his back door, two men later identified as Parker and German came through the front door pointing handguns at him.
The resident said he grabbed one of the weapons, a wrestling match ensued and all three men wound up outside, where the attackers began pistol-whipping him. He got away and ran to a neighbor’s house as the invaders fled.
Police arrived to find VanOppen in his car parked near the home. Parker and German were arrested at a nearby gas station where a witness had seen them running to a short time earlier. Police found a gas-powered pistol on the victim’s porch and a handgun in a nearby yard.