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Archive for the ‘Arson’ Category

Man who Spent over 20 Years in Prison Exonerated

August 17th, 2013 at 8:00 am

criminal record expunge 164664874 (2)Over 25 years ago, James Kluppelberg was convicted of setting a deadly fire in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.  The home that was burnt contained a woman and her five children.  Elva Lupercio, 28, and her children who ranged between 3 and 10 years old, died in their home on the 4400 block of South Hermitage Avenue. After reviewing the scene, investigators determined that the fire was an accident.

Four years after the incident, Kluppelberg was identified as the perpetrator by a man who was arrested for burglary.  They booked Kluppelberg and, shortly after, he confessed to the crime.  Sentenced to life in prison, he maintained that he was innocent of all wrongdoing.

Kluppelberg was exonerated in 2012 of this crime due to advances in fire sciences.  It was also revealed that his confession of guilt was coerced by officers who had beaten Kluppelberg so badly that he started to urinate blood.  The man who turned him in was found to be lying in order to receive leniency for his burglary conviction.  The police department also withheld information about a drunk woman who started another fire nearby the

Although Kluppelburg was granted his release in May, he struggled to regain his old life.  It was very difficult to find a job with six murder convictions on his record.  Kluppelburg has applied to over 400 jobs and the only one that responded to give him an interview, didn’t give him the job because of his record.  He is forced to live with the support of his son and daughter-in-law in northwest Indiana.

For 14 months, Kluppelburg struggled to keep it together.  Luckily he was able to secure a certificate of innocence by proving that he was falsely accused.  He will also be eligible to receive nearly $200,000 in compensation for the years he was incarcerated.  Having a record makes it difficult to live the life you would want but you may be able to get it sealed or expunged.  Seek the assistance of an experienced expungement attorney in Rolling Meadows today to see if your record can be erased.

Elderly Woman Slain Before Her Home Burning

November 30th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Elderly Woman SlainInvestigations regarding the death of an 89-year-old Crest Hill woman continue, as police suspect the woman was slain before her home was torched. The case is being looked into as a homicide after an autopsy, according to police. The story was reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Dorothy Dumyahn, 89, was found dead in her burning home on November 18. Crest Hill Deputy Police Chief Ed Clark said police are investigating the case as homicide based on an autopsy report from Nov. 19. According to Clark, the fire was set deliberately, and it was an attempt to cover up the murder.

Dumyahn’s one-story home on Caton Farm Road burned well enough for people to smell the ashes days later. With the windows and doors boarded up and piles of debris at the site, the burned down building is a sad reminder of what happened there.

According to Dumyahn’s neighbor, she was a nice old lady.

Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Paul Hertzmann said there was heavy smoke coming from the building when firefighters got to the scene. Crews found the 89-year-old Dumyahn inside and brought her out of the fire, but they were not able to resuscicate, according to Hertzmann.

The fire itself was put out in about thirty minutes.

Both arson and murder are extremely serious charges. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges of any kind, your best choice is to find a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your area. For an experienced criminal defense attorney in Illinois, contact our law offices.

Man Held for Role in Fatal Fire in Lombard, IL

August 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Todd Mandoline from Villa Park was asked to leave his ex-girlfriend’s birthday party on Saturday, July 22nd.  At some point during the night, Mandoline walked nearly two miles back to the Lombard house, in order to speak to Paula Morgan early on Sunday morning.  After trading text messages for a while, Morgan stopped answering Mandoline’s text and he became enraged.  Mandoline is now being charged with setting the fire that was responsible for killing Morgan one day before her 25th birthday.

Obviously not pleased with the lack of response from Morgan for a couple of hours, Mandoline acted in the heat of the moment.  “The defendant became enraged, picked up a piece of paper, twisted it up, put it in the gas tank of the victim’s vehicle parked in the driveway and took a lighter and set it on fire,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “The whole car was engulfed in flames. Unfortunately, the fire spread to the home as well.”  The fire spread from the car, then to the attached garage, and then to the home of Paula Morgan and her 6 year old son.

Luckily, Morgan’s son heard a smoke detector alarm and was able to escape from the blaze.  His mother, Morgan, and an acquaintance named Jason Cassidy were trapped on the second floor of the home.  When firefighters were able to remove Cassidy and Morgan from the embers, Morgan had died from smoke inhalation and Cassidy was in critical condition.  He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Todd Mandoline now faces a multitude of charges, one count of murder in the first degree, two counts of aggravated arson, one count of arson, and one count of criminal damage to property.  While he didn’t remain on the scene after setting the fatal fire, he did admit to starting it.  This case is reminiscent of harassment or stalking which escalated into a fire which devastated many lives.  With any criminal charges, it is important to receive the best legal advice possible from a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows.

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