Student goes to trial for robbery

By Bill Schwingel

An NIU student will go to trial in January for a charge of robbery.

The charge stems from an Oct. 17 robbery of cannabis at 183 Douglas Hall. Robert E. Smith, 21, 322 W. Neptune Hall; Donnell C. Thompson, 1325 W. Lincoln Hwy., Apt. 504B; Alex T. Yates, 19, 398 Douglas Hall and Anthony Rogers, 23, 900 Crane Drive, Apt. 707 were arrested in connection with an incident of forcible entry into the room of David Bergendorf.

Yates, the first suspect identified by Bergendorf, offered the names of the other three men involved in the incident, according to court reports.

Smith might be eligible to play on the NIU basketball team next semester if he is no longer on academic probation.

Smith’s first preliminary hearing was Nov. 2, but was continued to Nov. 16. At the Nov. 16 court appearance, Smith asked for a further continuance until Nov. 21.

DeKalb State’s Attorney Mike Coghlan said in an earlier interview continuances are not uncommon in court. Coghlan charged Smith with a class two felony of robbery with a maximum prison sentence of three to seven years.

Smith pled not guilty to the charge at his Nov. 21 hearing, leading to another preliminary trial Jan. 2 and a jury trial Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore.