Archive for the ‘Criminal defense’ Category

Son arrested for double homicide

February 17th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

According to a recent article posted by IndyStar, David Scott Rodenbarger was convicted for two counts of murder over this past weekend- that of his mother and his 6-year-old half-sister.  It has just recently been released that a two-pronged meat fork and knife were found at the scene of the crime.

Rodenbarger’s mother, 41-year-old Michelle Haskins, died from a serious stab wound to her neck, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in White Superior Court 1.  His half-sister, 6-year-old Jillian Haskins, died due to multiple stab wounds and swelling of her brain, which was caused by blunt force trauma to her head.

Both Haskins were found at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday at their home near Lake Freeman in Monticello.  Indiana State Police reported that Michelle Haskins was able to call 911 before succumbing to her injuries.

LaraA motive has not been specified for the crime, but Rodenbarger has allegedly implicated himself in the two deaths.  He was found in the home at the time the police arrived; his hands and clothes were bloodstained.

A two-pronged meat fork and knife were found near the bodies of Michelle and Jillian Haskins, both with what appeared to be blood on them.

Rodenbarger appeared in court Tuesday morning for his initial hearing.

At one point during the hearing, Rodenbarger interrupted the judge and requested he reread the charges stating “I wasn’t listening to you all the way.”  Later, he asked for an attorney and was appointed Delphi-based Pat Manahan as public defender.

While being led from the courtroom, he told family members “I love you, too.”

Each murder count against him is punishable by 45 to 65 years in prison.

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime, do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Cook County attorney to assist you.


Mount Prospect Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault

February 14th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Herbert Burgess, 58, was convicted in early February in a Cook County Circuit Court of a Class X felony and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Burgess was accused of sexually assaulting a youth who worked for him, “the son of friends he had known for years,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Burgess was a former executive for a Buffalo Grove printing firm, and the assault of the young man occurred in Burgess’ residence on Lexington Drive. The 24-year sentence will be served concurrently, according to the Tribune, and includes 15 years for criminal sexual assault and three years for unlawful restraint. One of the key witnesses in the trial was a male who claimed on the stand that Burgess had molested him in 1978 after having been plied with alcoholic beverages. Mount Prospect Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault IMAGE

According to the United States Bureau of Justice, sexual assault can be described for “a wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape.” They usually involve attacks or attempted attacks, and usually involve unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault can also refer to verbal threats. According to a Canadian Justice Department publication, a perpetrator of sexual abuse will “most likely be a friend or family member.” The specifics of the sexual assault in the Burgess case were not revealed to the media, though it was clear that he was an old acquaintance of his victim.

The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) is a group that works with and for survivors of sexual victimization in the state. According to the ICASA, in 2012, the organization served 18,092 adult, adolescent, and child survivors of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. The number was significantly lower than the 2011 figure of 18,896.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a sexual assault crime, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area criminal defense attorney today.

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Cases Dropped Involving Schaumburg Police Officers

February 11th, 2013 at 8:00 am

schaumburg policeA drug bust of a storage locker in Carol Stream has led to further arrests of police officers from Schaumburg.  The storage locker belonged to an informant who worked with the police.  When he was taken into custody, he had a very interesting story to tell.  He claimed that the police were supplying him with drugs seized from other drug dealers to sell on the streets.

The Carol Stream police investigated further and found that this was true.  DEA agents arrested the cops outside of the Woodfield Mall on January 16th.  John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O’Brien were all tactical officers in the division that deals with drugs, gangs and other issues that require undercover work.

The police officers took drugs like marijuana, cocaine and cash from legitimate busts to make more money.  Now the men are facing a multitude of felony charges which could mean decades in prison.  The drug charges include manufacturing and delivering of illegal drugs, official misconduct, armed violence, theft, and criminal drug conspiracy.

Since these officers were arrested, Cook County prosecutors have dropped three felony drug charges against defendants who were arrested by the trio.  The state’s attorney has also decided that out of 19 cases that the officers worked on, 15 will be dumped.  It is assumed that the testimony of these officers would not hold up in court.

These people benefited from the crimes of their arresting officers.  It is not typical to have this happen, but the constitutionality of the arrest is something that legal professionals look at to limit the use of evidence.  Contact an experienced drug crime lawyer in Rolling Meadows who can review the particulars of your arrest.

Suspects accused of robbing, killing and attempting to dismember 2 friends in Illinois

February 8th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

suspects accused of robbing, killingA recent case of four young adults accused of strangling two of their friends and attempting to dismember their bodies will be prosecuted by the Will County state’s attorney because he said it is so “heinous.”

Investigators shared that when cops arrived at the house in which the victims’ lifeless bodies were found, three of the suspects were found playing video games.

Joshua Miner, 24; Alisa Massaro, 18; Bethany McKee, 18; and Ada, Landerman, 19, whose mother is a Joliet police sergeant, are facing first-degree murder charges.

According to police, the group phoned Eric Glover and Terrance Rankin, both 22, and invited them over to Massaro’s home before robbing and killing their own friends.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that according to authorities, the suspects wanted to dismember the men, but the Will County coroner said that the bodies were found whole.

When police got to the home Massaro, Miner and Landerman were all there. They later picked up McKee.

When family members had not heard from the victims, they called the police, who learned that a friend had recently talked to the victims and said that they were with the group.

Circuit Court Judge Roger Rickmon upheld a bail for the four suspects at $10 million and their next court date is scheduled for Feb. 5.

Miner has the most extensive criminal record according to Sun-Times. Previously, he has pleaded guilty to unauthorized videotaping involving child pornography when he was 16 and three years ago, he was also convicted of a burglary before being ordered to a state boot camp.

Miner’s mother, Melodie Miner stood by her son, teller The Herald News that “There’s no way my son can do this.”

George Lefridge, a friend of the victims said, “You just don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘Yeah I’m fixing to go behead somebody, or chop somebody up.’ This is something that had been brewing in their system for a long time.”

Lefridge said that he suspected drugs were involved, although police have yet to release a motive for the murders.

Bill McKee, father of suspect Bethany McKee, gave condolences to the victims’ families outside of the court saying, “This is a surprise to us, no matter what anyone says. We’re giving it to God at this point.”

These young adults have found themselves in deep trouble, with what seems to be no way out. If you find yourself in trouble from a crime you may or may not have committed, hopefully of a lesser extent, contact a criminal attorney. Contact the law office of Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Illinois today.

Three members of new Illinois legislature facing criminal charges

February 5th, 2013 at 11:29 am

Three members of new Illinois legislatureMembers of Illinois’s newest General Assembly recently took the oath of office. As the state still struggles to rebuild its reputation as two consecutive governors went to prison, Illinois set another precedent of sorts; three sitting lawmakers are currently facing criminal charges.

Most recently in headline news about politics and crime in its highest office, former governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. Comparable circumstances cannot be recalled by experts or capitol veterans since the early 1970s, when several were rounded up for a bribery trial relating to cement trucks.

The allegations against each of the three lawmakers vary greatly from bribery, to bank fraud to trying to bring a gun onto a plane. Experts say, however, that although the charges differ, the accumulation and timing is very damaging to the state as it is already struggling to combat some of the most serious financial problems in its entire history.

The similarities of the three legislators, Rep. Derrick Smith, Rep. La Shawn Ford and Sen. Donne Trotter, end after the obvious facts of them all being Chicago Democrats who were all recently sworn into office.

Only one of these cases involves political corruption, unlike Blagojevich and former Gov. George Ryan, who were both accused of abusing their powers.

Smith was expelled from office in August on bribery charges, the first expulsion of that kind in over a century. Voters put Smith back in office in November, however. He pleaded not guilty to accepting a bribe in exchange for supporting what he had though was a day care center’s grant application.

According to state law, Smith cannot be expelled again for the same charges.

Smith has not made a public appearance since the charges, but did briefly say to reporters that being cleared of charges gives him the opportunity to “continue on doing what I was set out to do, work with my constituents.”

Each of the other two cases do not involve public office.

Ford is being faced with bank fraud charges. Allegedly, he made false statements to a bank so that he could get an increase on a line of credit. He claimed that he would use the money to fix investment properties, however, he used to funds for expenses including car loans and his 2006 campaign. Last month he pleaded not guilty, saying the incident was a mistake.

Veteran lawmaker Trotter was arrested in an airport after security workers found a gun in his bag. He pleaded not guilty as well after claiming that he simply had forgotten that the gun was in his bag.

Criminal records never look good on anyone, especially those in public office. If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal attorney for assistance to fight it. Criminal attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Illinois can help you fight for yourself today.

Caregiver Sentenced to Prison for Stealing From Disabled Men

February 2nd, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Caregiver Sentenced to PrisonThe Chicago Tribune is reporting that a former house manager at Cupertino House, an assisted –living facility for disabled men, pled guilty to financial exploitation of a disabled person and received a sentence of 40 months in prison. The men were reimbursed for their financial losses through the facility’s insurance policy, and as part of her sentence, the former facility employee was ordered to repay the funds to the insurance policy. With expected time cuts, the woman could serve as little as 18 months in prison. The woman had no criminal history prior to this case.

A 37-year-old divorced and mother of three pled guilty last year to taking almost $9,000 from the facility’s five male residents through a series of bank card withdrawals. She blamed her actions on financial troubles that she had been experiencing at the time. The woman had worked at the facility for 12 years, caring for and teaching everyday living skills to the men living at the facility, all of whom have the approximate functional capacity of a 10-year-old.

As this case illustrates, even people with no previous criminal history or convictions are subject to stiff sentences if the crime is sufficiently severe under Illinois law. Although the woman in this case had never served jail time before, she is now facing a lengthy period of incarceration.

With so much at stake in a criminal case, a strong defense from the very outset of any criminal charges is essential to achieving the best outcome possible. By enlisting the assistance of an experienced Chicagoland criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest, you will have a much greater chance of minimizing potentially serious consequences to you and your family.

Man Charged with Animal Cruelty Refuses to Give up Dogs

January 30th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Man Charged with Animal CrueltyAccording to a report by 89 WLS, Jarcivius Taylor refuses to give up the dogs that he has been accused of abusing. The dogs were found to be severely emaciated and malnourished. Police believe that the dogs were being used in an underground dog fighting ring.

According to law enforcement, they were given an anonymous tip by a neighbor reporting that he was abusing animals at his residence. Upon the execution of a search warrant, they found two severely injured dogs. There was one female and one male dog who both had what were described as gruesome injuries. Both of them had deformed front legs, wounds that were still open and a myriad of old scars. All of these injuries are indicative of dog fighting. The female dog was extremely underweight and doctors stated that she showed signs of overbreeding. Her paws were stained by urine which proves that she was forced to stand in her own filth for extended periods of time. She is in such bad shape that she may need to be euthanized.

Law enforcement also found several illegal firearms, cocaine, marijuana and cash. Even with the overwhelming evidence against him, he refuses to give up the dogs to the authorities. He is facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty as well as various drug and gun charges.

If you find yourself being charged with misdemeanor or felony charges, you need to retain an aggressive and experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney right away. Your attorney will ensure that your case is handled correctly and that your case is presented to the court in the best way possible. Do not let the police or prosecution lead you to believe that you do not have a chance to win the case at all. In most cases, even with overwhelming evidence, your attorney can make a deal with the prosecuting attorneys.

Woman Driving Home from Funeral Arrested for DUI

January 27th, 2013 at 11:02 am

Woman Driving HomeFour women were on their way home from a funeral early on Wednesday night.  The driver, Cindy Giron, claimed that they were being ‘chased’ by a vehicle which caused her to hit a concrete planter box that divided the road.  They were driving east on Madison Street and just passing Bishop at 12:50 am when the single car accident occurred.

The damage done to Giron’s car made it not drivable.  The police who responded to the scene noticed all the girls were out of the car, including Giron’s sister who was lying flat on the pavement, which had Giron visibly shaken.  She continually asked the officers what she “did to her sister” and questioned if her sister was going to die while crying uncontrollably.  Luckily, no one involved was seriously hurt although they were transported to local hospitals.

As the authorities were cleaning up the accident and assessing the damage done, they came across a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi wine which was three quarters empty.  The women had also had been drinking wine earlier in the night at the funeral.  When Giron was tested, her blood alcohol level was 0.246, which is over three times the legal limit of .08.

She was charged with felony aggravated DUI and two counts misdemeanor DUI.  Giron was also ticketed for negligent driving, driving without a license, illegal transportation of alcohol and failure to produce proof of insurance.  Charges for driving under the influence can receive very harsh sentencing.  To ensure that your rights are protected, contact a supportive criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

Five Indiana Men Sentenced in Tinley Park Attack

January 21st, 2013 at 8:00 am

Ashford House BrawlBrothers Dylan, Cody and Jason Sutherlin along with two other members of the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement decided to drive together to Tinley Park to confront a group of alleged white supremacists.  The brothers along with Alex Struck and John S. Tucker wanted to go to a local restaurant to peacefully protect the meeting yet the scene erupted in violence.  Surveillance footage showed at least 18 men enter the Ashford House brandishing weapons and wearing masks.  After the attack, these five men were arrested as part of the mob in the May 19th melee.

Altogether, each of the men were charged with 37 separate felony counts including aggravated battery, property damage and mob action.  The prosecution was pushing for maximum sentencing on the most serious charge of armed violence.   All five decided to enter guilty pleas to reduce the counts from 37 down to 3.

“We were ready to go to trial,” said Brian Barrido, the pro-bono lawyer for Dylan Sutherlin. “I was very surprised when they said they wanted to take the plea … but I think they did the math, and if the trial didn’t start for a year or six months, they might be out just as soon.”  Jason Sutherlin was sentenced to 6 years, Dylan and Cody received 5 years each, while Stuck and Tucker received 3-1/2 years.

It is typical for those accused of battery charges to seek plea deals in order to reduce their sentences or other alternatives which don’t involve criminal convictions.  The sentencing can be reduced to court supervision, paying fines, community service or counseling.  Whether you want to plead guilty to a crime or go to court, you shouldn’t have to do it by yourself.  Contact an effective criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can work for the result you want.

One of the news criminal laws for Illinois

January 18th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Eavesdropping Criminal Laws in IllinoisWith a new year comes new laws, and this year there are a number of laws working in different parts of the legal field. Since this is a criminal defense blog, we will introduce a new criminal law, which, in this case, is an amendment to an older statute. The law in question sets new rules on eavesdropping when investigating a felony drug violation case.

For those who want to read through a bureaucratic summary of the bill, here is a link to Illinois General Assembly’s information about the new law.

The core idea in the bill is that law enforcement officers can eavesdrop with an eavesdropping device when they are investigating a felony drug violation case if they get permission from the state’s attorney. However, one of the participants in the recorded conversation has to be an officer or acting under instructions from a law enforcement officer. The officer or instructed person also has to have consented to the recording taking place.

More specifically, the bill allows eavesdropping in felony violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, the Cannabis Control Act or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. If these eavesdropping recordings have evidence that has to do with something other than these violations, it is not usable evidence in court.

Very short summaries of new laws can be found, for example in this story.

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area. Our Rolling Meadows offices can help you with your Cook County, Illinois criminal defense needs.