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Mark Hurst

Mark Hurst

VALPARAISO | Kevin Waite told a jury Wednesday morning when he left home Dec. 4 he thought he was going on a first date to a movie with a high school friend he was reacquainted with on Facebook.

Yet after being asked by his date in a text to go to Shenanigans bar along U.S. 20, Waite wound up being robbed and confined by fellow Portage resident Mark Hurst, according to prosecutors. Waite went to the bar to meet his date and Hurst's then-girlfriend, Brittany Foley, of Portage.

Waite was the first to testify in this week's trial of 33-year-old Hurst, who faces two felony counts, including one that carries a potential sentence of two to eight years behind bars. Prosecutors are seeking an enhanced sentence based on Hurst's earlier felony convictions for residential burglary, theft and battery.

Foley also is charged in the case and is expected to testify this week.

Waite, 22, told police Hurst took his cellphone and forced him to buy rounds of drinks at the bar and withdraw just more than $300 from two ATMs while on the way home.

When he questioned the demands, Waite said Hurst replied, "Do you want to keep your precious teeth?"

Hurst's attorney, Tony Bertig, told jurors Wednesday that Waite's story is suspicious.

"It just doesn't add up," he said.

Deputy Prosecutor Trista Hudson said Waite is naive and sheltered, which made him an easy target for Hurst.

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