March 30, 2007, 05:21 AM
Any updates on him? I am curious as to what is going on with him.
March 30, 2007, 05:28 AM
Found my answer...
Tank's penalty: 120 days in jail cell
Bears tackle may face game suspensions
By Courtney Flynn, Tribune staff reporter; Tribune staff reporters Susan Kuczka, Carlos Sadovi and John Mullin contributed to this report
Published March 16, 2007
After courtroom pleas for leniency by coach Lovie Smith and teammate Brian Urlacher, Bears defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson was sentenced Thursday to 120 days in jail and fined $2,500 for violating the terms of his probation on a 2005 weapons conviction.
Cook County Circuit Judge John Moran imposed the sentence following a more-than-two-hour hearing in a packed Skokie courtroom, where Johnson, 25, admitted he had made mistakes in his life.
"In retrospect, I should not have had guns in the home," Johnson told the judge before being sentenced. "I assure you this: The man suggested by these charges is not me, by any stretch of the imagination."
Johnson, who pleaded guilty to the probation-violation charge Jan. 9, was immediately taken into custody after the hearing and was later moved to the county jail. He could be released in 60 days for good behavior.
One of Johnson's attorneys, Lorna Propes, characterized the sentence as "cruel" and suggested that Johnson's status as a celebrity was a factor.
"This case came down so much harder on him than it would on anybody else," Propes said. "He was treated far more harshly."
But prosecutors, who recommended jail time for Johnson, said the sentence was "fair and appropriate" and that he was treated like anyone else. He could have faced up to a year in jail.
"He was on probation. He was told he couldn't possess any firearms," said Assistant State's Atty. Rick Cenar. "He violated his probation and he had not one, but six firearms--three handguns and three rifles--in his house and 500 rounds of ammunition."
Johnson will be placed in protective custody, meaning he will be held in a cell by himself, as is common for well-known inmates, said sheriff's spokesman Bill Cunningham.
"We think given the high-profile nature of his case, there is a chance he could be targeted for violence by other inmates" or that his presence could disrupt jail operations if he were placed with the general population, he said.
Johnson's life behind bars will be spent mostly in his cell, Cunningham said. He'll be let out several times a day for recreation, to shower or watch television. His food will consist mostly of eggs for breakfast, bologna or other meat sandwiches for lunch and a hot dinner.
During Thursday's hearing, Smith and Urlacher testified on Johnson's behalf.
Smith said Johnson was one of the Bears players he had gotten to know personally. He described him as pleasant and friendly, and as being well-liked by other players.
He acknowledged that Johnson had made mistakes but added that he was ready to move on as a "positive person in society." He said jail time would be "devastating" for Johnson.
"There are good guys and there are bad guys," Smith said. "Tank Johnson is a good guy."
Urlacher described Johnson as a friend. He said the two have taken fishing trips, gone out for dinner and socialized with their families. He said Johnson was a good father to his two daughters, ages 1 and 3. Urlacher's oldest daughter calls Johnson "Uncle Tank."
He said he has come to Johnson's defense and "put my neck out" for him in the past because he's part of the Bears' family and because he did not want to turn his back on him.
"Tank's not a bad guy. I know this for sure," Urlacher said. "He made some bad decisions. He's getting help for that."
The violation charge against Johnson was leveled after Gurnee police found the weapons in his home during a Dec. 14 raid. Police also found marijuana that they said belonged to Johnson's bodyguard and housemate, Willie B. Posey, 26.
The case took a bizarre turn less than two days later when Johnson and Posey went to a Chicago nightclub, where Posey was gunned down. Alleged gang member Michael Selvie, 34, faces first-degree murder charges in Posey's death.
Football insiders predict that the National Football League, which waits for the legal process to run its course before acting under its personal conduct policy, will suspend Johnson for as many as four games.
"His case is under review," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
Some inside the Bears organization--including general manager Jerry Angelo--favored releasing Johnson in December, but Smith and team co-captains successfully supported keeping him on the team at that time. The jail time and the likely suspension could have tipped internal opinion against Johnson, but the organization at this time is still behind its defensive lineman.
"We continue our support of Tank and he will remain a member of our football team," team officials said in a statement. "Tank has made many positive changes to better his life. We believe he will continue on this path at the conclusion of his sentence."
Johnson will miss a portion of the team's offseason strength and conditioning program, which begins in mid-April but is not mandatory.
Cliff Stein, director of contracts and legal affairs for the Bears, said at a February hearing for Johnson that the player could lose 40 percent--about $700,000--of his signing bonus if he is sentenced to jail. In addition, he would be "scarred" when it came to prospects with other pro teams, Stein said.
Johnson, who still faces charges in Lake County Circuit Court on misdemeanor gun possession charges, told the judge Thursday that his arrest had made a significant impact on him.
"It doesn't take long for an educated person to learn a lesson," said Johnson, who was placed on home confinement shortly after his arrest pending the outcome of the probation-violation case. "I have learned that lesson."
Johnson--who was allowed to travel to Miami to play in the Bears' Super Bowl showdown against the Indianapolis Colts in February--also told the judge he wanted him to "know the real me" before he was sentenced.
"I pride myself on being a humble and big-hearted person," Johnson told the judge. "I do not believe I'm a man who belongs in jail."
Johnson told the judge he had been around guns for most of his life, including as a member of the JROTC when he was 14.
He said he excelled in marksmanship and later in life enjoyed going to the shooting range. Buying guns, he said, was the fulfillment of a lifelong hobby. "I have never used a gun in a threatening way," he told the judge.
March 30, 2007, 09:42 AM
What was the incident that got him probation in the first place?
This really makes me sick... You subjects of ILL need to stand up against this tyrrany...
March 30, 2007, 03:15 PM
Here is a link to a closed thread about it:
March 30, 2007, 04:17 PM
Don't have time to read it all...
Bears... So he hunts bears? And calls it "play?"
I don't understand.
March 30, 2007, 07:48 PM
From everything I've been reading, Tank and his bodyguard/buddy got caught "playing" with guns in the back yard of his upscale suburban McMansion. I'm not clear on whether there were any round fired or not, at this point. When the cops showed up to investigate neither he, nor his now dead bodyguard, had a FOID card.
The local cops tried to warn and advise him to get a card but they both had a few beers and copped an attitude with a "do you know who I am dude?" posture.
That was the first instance. As a new resident of the state all he had to do was apply for a FOID card, show up in court with the new card and explain that he didn't know the Illinois law, he was sorry and would be more conscientious in the future.
They didn't bother to follow through on anything and ignored the summons to appear in court.
The second time, that involved the forcible entry, was after he had ignored calls to come to the station/couthouse to resolve the issues. Plus his buddy had a long rap sheet, not to speak ill of the dead (he was shot dead in a club the night after the arrests, in an argument over a woman).
I'm having a real hard time seeing Tank as any kind of victim or cause celebre here. The guy is guilty of believing his own press releases that he's some kind of "special" citizen and the normal laws (like em or not) don't apply to him.
I think he suffers from "celebrity disease" and thinks the laws just don't apply to him or his friends.
After a few months in jail, he may learn some humility, but I doubt it.
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