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Parolee accused of robbing mother's landlord after rent paid

Matthew D. Duett

Matthew D. Duett’s mother paid her landlord this month in cash for the West Side apartment she shares with her parolee son, then he stole it right back, prosecutors said.

Duett appeared in court Sunday on charges of robbing and assaulting his mother’s landlord behind a North Lawndale two-flat. Judge Donald Panarese ordered Duett held on $500,000 bail. The 23-year-old was paroled in September from the Pontiac Correctional Center after being convicted of aggravated battery to a police officer and auto theft.

On the morning of Dec. 20, the 68-year-old owner of the building at 4149 West Cermak collected $1,500 rent from Duett’s mother and an upstairs tenant, Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack said.

When the woman went into the backyard to clean up trash, Duett attacked, Mack said.

Accompanied by another person, Duett wrapped one hand around the landlord’s neck and another hand over her mouth, Mack said.

Duett’s accomplice reached into the woman’s sweater and took the money, Mack said. Duett threw the woman to the ground and the two ran off, Mack said.

The landlord, who suffered a back injury during the attack, is recovering at a rehabilitation center and will need back surgery, Mack said.

She was able to identify her attackers, Mack said. She told authorities Duett and the other assailant both lived in the first-floor apartment rented to Duett’s mother. Duett’s accomplice has not been charged, Mack said.