Hazel Crest, Ill., man convicted in fatal attack on Evanston man

Brandon Hinton

Source: Evanston Police Department

Brandon Hinton

Patrick Svitek, City Editor

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A Hazel Crest, Ill., man was convicted Thursday of killing an Evanston man two years ago near the Chicago border.

A Cook County jury found Brandon Hinton, 28, guilty of first-degree murder for attacking and robbing John Costulas, 61, as he walked to work in the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2011, in the 500 block of Howard Street. Hinton struck Costulas in the head before taking $10 from the hearing-impaired man and leaving him bleeding and unconscious, according to police.

The incident left Costulas in a coma, and he died eight days later, police said. An anonymous tip led detectives to Hinton on Sept. 12, 2011.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled Costulas’ death a homicide, saying he died due to “blunt head trauma” from the beating.

The 8th Ward community rallied around the case, with Ald. Ann Rainey urging her constituents to attend Hinton’s trial over the past two years.

On Thursday afternoon, Rainey called the verdict “closure for the family … but justice for the community.”

“Mothers and fathers, do not let your children grow up to commit senseless acts of violence,” Rainey wrote in a Facebook post.

Michele Hays, chair of Brummel Park Neighbors, said the south Evanston neighborhood turned out for every court date in Costulas’ memory.

“I hope this is the last case that neighbors need to watch, and the very last violent crime committed in Brummel Park and Southeast Evanston/Northeast Rogers Park,” she wrote in an email to The Daily on Thursday evening.

Hinton faces 20 to 60 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Hinton’s attorney could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Email: patricksvitek2014@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @PatrickSvitek