UPDATE: Armed Habitual Offender with Outstanding Warrant Sentenced to 21 Years

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


September 7, 2022


For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Avalos
(224) 374-2376

UPDATE: Armed Habitual Offender with Outstanding Warrant Sentenced to 21 Years 

Giovanni Smith

Giovanni Smith

(Lake County, IL) Today, a Lake County Judge sentenced a North Chicago man to 21 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections to be served at 85%.  

Giovanni Smith, 33, was convicted on August 4, 2022, after a jury trial found him guilty of one count of Armed Habitual Criminal, a Class X felony, and one count of Unlawful Use of Weapon by Felon, a Class 2 felony.  

Smith was present throughout the trial but did not return to court for the reading of the verdict and was not present at the sentencing hearing. A no bond warrant is currently outstanding for defendant’s arrest.  

In light of Smith’s criminal history and refusal to rehabilitate over the years, Assistant State’s Attorney Ruth Lofthouse asked Presiding Judge Patricia Fix to sentence Smith to 20 years state incarceration.  

“Our office is committed to protecting the community from repeat offenders such as Mr. Smith. Everyone deserves to be safe from gun violence. We know that increased access to weapons is one of the many reasons why we are seeing an increase in violence. This sentence is necessary to deter others from repeatedly violating the law as Mr. Smith has,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.  

The jury trial began on August 2, 2022, lasting three days. Jurors heard from different state witnesses, including law enforcement and a witness who called 911.   

On July 4, 2021, around 7:30 p.m., North Chicago Police responded to a report of someone with a gun. According to the 911 call, a person jumped out of a car in North Chicago with a handgun and chased an individual down the street. North Chicago officers located the defendant minutes later and the gun was recovered in the center console of the vehicle defendant was driving. 

Smith was originally held on a $100,000 bond. A bond review hearing was requested by the defense and bond was reduced to $50,000, over the State’s objection. Smith was able to post $5,000 cash.  

Under a new law, the SAFE-T Act, going into effect on January 1, 2023, defendants charged with violent crimes, such as this one, will not be granted bond before trial if a judge orders them detained. 

Anyone who sees Smith should call 911 and not attempt to apprehend him. 


Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000