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A former standout high school basketball star from Lake County is back in jail after threatening his female probation officer who was scheduled to testify against him, authorities said.
Jereme Richmond, 21, of the 2000 bock of Arthur Drive in Waukegan, pleaded not guilty to three counts of harassing a witness. Richmond remains in Lake County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.
The charges could land Richmond behind bars for up to seven years, Lake County Judge John Phillips said during the arraignment hearing Thursday. He could also receive probation or periodic imprisonment.
Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Newman said Richmond was in violation of parole from a 2011 weapons case and learned his probation officer was planning to testify against him at an upcoming hearing.
Authorities say the harassment took place April 25 after a meeting between Richmond and the probation officer at the court services office in Waukegan. While outside the office as he was leaving, Richmond allegedly told her, "Be safe, (victims name). Be real safe." He then made a hand gesture in the form a gun and pointed it at the officer, authorities said.
The probation officer told Lake County authorities, who arrested Richmond and charged him with harassment.
Phillips set a trial date of June 10 for the new charges.
Richmond was a star at Waukegan High School and played one season at the University of Illinois before leaving college in 2011 in hopes of being drafted by the NBA.
He was later charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, illegal possession of a firearm, and unlawful use of a handgun after authorities said he threatened to shoot his ex-girlfriend. He eventually pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon for bringing a loaded gun to his girlfriend's house and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
His probation was set to terminate in late July.
He was cleared earlier this spring to play semipro basketball for the Sauk Valley Predators, but quit the team after only a couple of weeks.
The petition to revoke Richmond's probation remains outstanding and will be heard at a later date, Newman said.