Former girlfriend: surveillance photo was Crystal Lake man

Trial continues for 2012 armed robbery

WOODSTOCK – The former girlfriend of Eric Sorenson took one look at a surveillance photo believed to be the Crystal Lake man – gun in hand, standing at the pharmacy counter – and cried saying, “That’s Eric.”

Sorenson is on trial this week, facing charges stemming from a Sept. 2, 2012, armed robbery at the Crystal Lake CVS. He’s accused of robbing the pharmacist at gunpoint and making off with 300 oxycodone pills.

Ketan Patel, the CVS pharmacist working that night, testified Tuesday that an armed man came into the store about 9:30 p.m. with a note that demanded oxycodone pills.

Wearing a patterned sweatshirt, dark glasses and a hat, a man prosecutors say was Sorenson was seen on surveillance video brandishing the weapon. The sweatshirt later was found on a search warrant at Sorenson’s home.

“This is not a complicated case. This is not a whodunit,” Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs said during his opening statement. “He did it. He’s the guy, and we’re going to prove it.”

Sorenson’s one-time girlfriend, Erin Dorsey, testified that the night of the robbery she later met with Sorenson, who appeared agitated, nervous and paranoid. Sorenson told Dorsey he needed to get out of town, she said.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Steve McArdle asked Dorsey about her initial statements to police when she said the surveillance photo couldn’t possibly have been Sorenson. When first questioned by detectives, the facial hair of the armed man was much darker than Sorenson’s – who also had a fuller beard, she first told police.

“I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Dorsey said.

In his opening statement, McArdle outlined his defense, saying that Sorenson’s fingerprints were not found at the CVS pharmacy after the crime, and that his client had a prescription for the oxycodone pill bottles found at his home.

“Eric’s parents are going to testify that [a car seen after the crime] was still at home when the robbery took place, and that Eric himself was at home when this robbery occurred,” McArdle said.

Sorenson faces a minimum of 21 years in prison if convicted of armed robbery.

The trial before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather could wrap as early as Wednesday.