Carjacking suspect released from Paxton jail, sent back to prison

PAXTON — A parolee from Douglas County who is charged with 11 felonies for allegedly trying to hijack multiple vehicles in Paxton last month has been released from the Ford County Jail and put back in state prison for violating his parole.

An official at the jail in Paxton said Monday that Joshua A. Hatten, 31, who listed addresses in Tuscola and Villa Grove, was released to the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections on Dec. 31.

The IDOC’s website says Hatten was admitted to Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill on Jan. 3. His projected parole date is May 16, 2019.

Hatten’s transfer to state prison occurred after his attorney, Jamie Propps, requested during a Dec. 29 hearing in Ford County Circuit Court that Hatten’s bond be lowered from $300,000 to $50,000. Since there was already a “hold” on Hatten from the IDOC, State’s Attorney Andrew Killian then asked the court to grant Hatten his release on a personal recognizance bond.

Hatten is due back in court for a pretrial hearing at 1:15 p.m. Jan. 31.

Hatten was arraigned during the Dec. 29 hearing on all 11 felony counts, which include one count of aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class X felony; two counts of attempted aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class 1 felony; one count of attempted vehicular hijacking, a Class 2 felony; two counts of burglary, a Class 2 felony; and five counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.

Hatten was also arraigned on two traffic charges — leaving the scene of an accident, a Class A misdemeanor, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Hatten waived his right to a preliminary hearing and requested a jury trial.

Hatten’s alleged crimes all happened on Dec. 19, starting when Hatten fled the scene of an accident in downtown Paxton. Paxton’s acting police chief, Coy Cornett, said Hatten allegedly fled the scene in his car, which he then left in the parking lot of the Community Resource & Counseling Center, 1510 W. Ottawa Road, after smoke started coming from it.

Hatten then allegedly tried to hijack three vehicles, committing multiple aggravated batteries in the process, Cornett said.

Hatten eventually entered a vehicle and forced the driver to drive him into Paxton. Cravero went to the Casey’s General Store at 585 S. Market St., then jumped out of the vehicle and ran inside the store, telling the clerk to call 911.

Seconds later, a 72-year-old woman entered the store and said Hatten was trying to steal her sport-utility vehicle.

A Paxton resident who was inside the store at the time then ran outside to confront Hatten, subduing him until police arrived.

According to the IDOC’s website, Hatten was paroled on May 16 from Taylorville Correctional Center, where he had been housed after being sentenced to six years in prison in January 2015 for a conviction he received in Douglas County for aggravated battery to a peace officer. 

Hatten previously served a four-year prison term for a forgery conviction he received in Douglas County.

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County


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