Teen who robbed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s son sentenced to boot camp

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Phillip B. Payne | Illinois Department of Corrections mugshot

The teen who robbed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s son nearly two years ago has been sentenced to prison boot camp for two other crimes he committed while on probation for the high-profile mugging.

Phillip B. Payne, 19, pleaded guilty last week to felony counts of dealing cocaine and possessing a stolen car, getting sentences of four years and three years, respectively. But a judge also recommended that the state corrections department admit Payne into its boot camp program.

If Payne qualifies for and completes the program, he would be released in about six months. If not, his seven-year sentence would stand, with Payne spending a little more than two years in prison under day-for-day credits for time served.

The Chicago Sun-Times last year revealed Payne’s downward spiral in the wake of the Dec. 19, 2014, mugging of Zach Emanuel, the mayor’s then-17 year-old son. In between his drug and stolen-car arrests last year, he grieved the loss of his older half-brother, BoShaun Jackson, a fellow gang member who was shot and killed in April 2015.

The police have said Payne has refused to give up his accomplice in Zach Emanuel’s mugging, which happened around 10 p.m. as Zach Emanuel was talking on his cellphone not far from the Emanuel home’s front door in Ravenswood.

The pair approached Zach Emanuel from behind, punched him, placed him in a chokehold and took off with the phone after demanding he give them the code to unlock it, the police have said. Zach Emanuel, shaken by the mugging, was treated at home by a family doctor.

The police were able to bust Payne because the stolen phone, subsequently sold online, didn’t work. So it was brought to a store, where the serial number turned up the name of the original owner, the mayor’s son, in a database tracking stolen phones. Investigators said they traced the phone to a man who said he got it from Payne.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi last year described the robbery as “a crime of opportunity facilitated by the fact that the victim was unaware of his surroundings because he was talking on his cellphone.” He also said “the victim and Phil Payne did not know each other and had no contact prior to Payne and his accomplice assaulting him that night.”

Emanuel’s office had no comment on Payne’s sentencing, which was first reported by the blog Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown. Payne reported to Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet on Friday. He also was ordered to pay $1,539 in fees.

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