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BLOOMINGTON — Two men are charged with armed robbery following an incident east of Bloomington on Tuesday in which a man was beaten with a bat.

Cheonte Hinkle, 23, of the 1600 block of Northbrook Drive in Normal and Robert Pratt, 21, of Hopedale are charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery. Hinkle also faces marijuana trafficking charges related to an ongoing drug investigation by Normal police.

According to a statement read in court Thursday by prosecutor Jeff Horve, a driver stopped on a rural road and called police after he saw two men beating a third man. The two suspects fled in a car from the scene off Ireland Grove Road but were later stopped by LeRoy police, he said.

The witness provided a description of the car, said police.

The victim told police he knew one of the men and had agreed to go swimming with them. When he got in the car, the men pulled out a bat and a gun and robbed him of cash, according to the statement.

Hinkle, who was convicted in 2016 of conspiring to conceal the drug-related death of a teenager, also was charged Thursday with drug trafficking. More than 6 pounds of marijuana and a shipping box with a return address in Oregon were found during a search of Hinkle's apartment by Normal police, said the prosecutor.

Hinkle must post $50,035 to be released on armed robbery charges and an additional $25,035 on drug charges.

Pratt was jailed in lieu of posting $25,035 on the armed robbery charges.

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

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McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.

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