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Streator man sentenced for September attack

Streator resident Tammy Tyler is frustrated Cole Sampson is not going to prison longer for beating her son.

"He murdered the person my son was. It's not fair," Tyler said.

The 21-year-old Sampson, of Streator, pleaded guilty Thursday in court to hitting and kicking the head of Cory Rideout on Sept. 2 in Streator. Sampson was then sentenced to three years in prison, but with credit for four months spent in jail since his arrest, as well as good behavior, he could parole in about 14 months.

Sampson's prior record included misdemeanor convictions for battery, consuming alcohol as a minor and shoplifting.

Prosecutor Jeremiah Adams said Rideout went to a party the night of Sept. 2 at a home in the 500 block of South Vermillion Street in Streator, where Sampson was present. 

Rideout was told to leave, with a fight ensuing. After Rideout was knocked to the ground, Sampson hit and kicked him in his head.

A police officer on patrol later found Rideout lying unconscious in the street at the home. No one other than Sampson was charged. Tyler said Sampson and her son did not know each other. Tyler also said several men attacked her son, but Sampson was the only caught.

Rideout suffered traumatic brain injury, has to be fed through a tube, cannot move his right arm and can barely move his right leg, according to Tyler. He cannot walk by himself and has great difficulty speaking, but has come to recognize familiar faces. His weight plunged from 243 pounds to 170 pounds.

The 28-year-old Rideout was employed full time before he was battered.

"Cory took care of himself and never asked me for anything," Tyler said.

Now, Tyler is his legal guardian.

Tyler said she is "hurt and angry" Sampson will leave prison in about one year, but understands the prosecutor could not do much more. If the case had gone to trial, something could have gone wrong and Sampson could have been found not guilty, according to Tyler. Even if Sampson was found guilty, he might only have received an extra six months in prison.

Tyler noted her son's young nephews ask about him, but don't quite understand what happened to him. Tyler herself also is a bit lost.

"Our world has been turned upside-down," Tyler said. "Cory is in a facility that's five hours away from me. I have to set up a GoFundMe account, because this has drained my savings."

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