CROWN POINT — A 35-year-old man from Crete, Illinois, was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for shooting at his ex-girlfriend's vehicle in Highland.

John Burton III said at his sentencing hearing Monday he was sorry for his actions.

“I'm very remorseful,” he told Judge Salvador Vasquez. “It hurts me to be in this type of predicament.”

Burton pleaded guilty Nov. 7 in Lake Criminal Court to criminal recklessness, a level 3 felony, and criminal recklessness, a level 5 felony.

He admitted as part of the plea agreement he shot at his ex-girlfriend's vehicle as she fled her apartment the night of April 15 in the 2100 block of Porte De Leau Court in Highland, according to court records.

The woman was in the vehicle with her 17-year-old babysitter and a co-worker, records state. Burton allegedly chased the woman in his own vehicle before being arrested in Dyer. No one was injured in the shooting.

John Burton Jr., the defendant's father, told Vasquez his son had no criminal record, not even a speeding ticket. He said his son has always worked, and paid support for his three children.

“That day — I don't know what happened,” the father said.

The babysitter said in a letter to the court she wanted Burton, who has been jailed since his arrest, to remain behind bars.

Vasquez said it was “pathetic” what Burton did to himself, and the victims, through his reckless actions, but he believed the defendant should not be sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

He noted the defendant had no criminal record, family support and a lengthy work history before sentencing him to three years in prison on each of the two counts, to be served concurrently.

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Courts and social justice reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.