Archive for the ‘Criminal defense’ Category

Bartender Stabbed Chasing a Man

November 28th, 2012 at 11:54 am

A bartender in the Magnificent Mile heard a chilling scream and saw a man run through the Westin Hotel and to the streets, and reacting on pure instinct, he ran after the man. The chase ended in the bartender getting knifed, but he survived the incident. The Chicago Tribune reported a story about the chase that took an ugly turn.

Bradford Burner, 35, who was tending the bar at Westin Hotel Grill when he heard the scream said it was ”bone-chilling.” Burner pursued the subject on the streets, closing in on the man near some shops at the Hancock building. He said the man displayed a knife when Burner got closer.

“Someone yelled something. The gentleman turned around (and) saw me coming toward him,” Burner told the Chicago Tribune.

The next thing Burner knew was that the man was coming at him with a knife. Burner was cut on his chest, and he fell to the sidewalk after getting knifed.

According to police and prosecutors, Jimmy Harris had tried to rob an Oak Brook doctor in the restaurant bathroom. Harris had stabbed and struck the doctor, Mir Jafar Shah, before fleeing. Harris, 56, is a parolee with 60 prior arrests, and he had just been released from prison eight days before the stabbing.

Harris is being held no charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Chicago as soon as possible. Criminal charges are always serious, and they can have life-altering consequences. Do not hesitate before contacting our Illinois law offices.

Silent Witnesses makes Police Job Harder

November 23rd, 2012 at 6:39 am

It is not unusual to hear the saying “snitches get stitches” around the streets of Chicago. While it may sound like a child’s rhyme, it is a serious and threatening statement that witnesses to criminal acts. This can be especially daunting when someone witnesses a crime of violence.

Most people believe that it is the job of the police to solve the rising crimes and there is very little community trust in the police. Residents of high crime areas do not feel that the police are there to serve and protect and would rather not make their jobs easier by telling what they have seen. This reluctance to tell is just what police say makes it even harder to solve crimes that happen every day in these communities.

Chicago Police Department statistics state that arrests have been made in approximately 30 percent of shooting homicides and over 70 percent of nonfatal shootings continue to go unsolved. Not only are witnesses unwilling to talk but often times the victims themselves are unwilling to tell even when they know the perpetrator of the crime. These numbers are astounding. Police are afraid that when the perpetrators go unpunished, they will continue to victimize other people.

Chicago has a very deeply entrenched gang culture that gives even more reason for people want to keep quiet. Many residents believe that if the police cannot control the city’s gangs, how can they protect the residents who may want to step forward and report what they have seen going on?

If you or a loved one have been charged with a violent crime in Chicago or the surrounding area, you need to have an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at your side to make sure that not only your interests are represented, but also to ensure that your rights are protected.

Ceasefire Impact Unknown

November 20th, 2012 at 6:33 am

According to the Sun Times, there is little known about the impact of the ceasefire within the city. There may be significant changes in the gang related killings of the area, but there may not be depending on the time frame and how they are doing it.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says it’s still a work and progress and an anonymous person said it may take two weeks or more in order to find out if this kind of solution is really working in the community.

Tio Hardiman believes it’s working in helping with the crime rate in areas that are being worked with in this pilot program. He thinks that this will help with the crime and that it will also make things easier for everyone if the program works for this city. He understands that some officers are reluctant to do the program because it includes ex-convicts to help with the program. He also believes it’s a two way street and that the police departments also need to communicate with them so they can see how well the program is working for them.

He believes that the program is going to work to save lives, but it needs time to work. He thinks that the program can really help with the crime and the city if it’s just given a chance to work.

If you are trying to put together a program that can help with crime in the area you’re living in or you want to help, there are people that can help you. A good option is to look into lawyers in the Chicago area to help you get what you need done and to help you fight any flack you might get from the city. What are you waiting for, call now.

Man Charged with Murder of Missing Woman

November 15th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

The 42 year old live-in-boyfriend of a missing Calumet City woman has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide. Although the body of Gena Chiodo has not been located, police say there is enough evidence to support the charges against Donal Clark, a man who has a reported history of domestic violence.

According to the Chicago Tribune, friends of Chiodo, many of who reported seeing the victim with bruises on her arms and throat during her 18 month relationship with Clark,  became concerned when she didn’t show up for work or answer calls. The police were contacted and sent to the couple’s home. They found Clark at home, and he claimed he didn’t know where she was.

Police also found a bloody scene inside the home, leading to the first-degree murder charge. There was blood was splattered on the walls, a desk and a treadmill in a weight room on the first floor. The bathroom had a strong smell of bleach and police found blood around the toilet bowl. There was no shower curtain in the bathroom, but police did find one outside in the garbage, covered in blood. One bedroom had a blood soaked pillow; another bedroom had a shattered mirror. Police also found a pool of blood on a carpet inside the backdoor landing.

Bloodied lingerie and a shower curtain, a necklace, two cell phones with missing memory cards and picture frames, all broken, were recovered from the trash outside Chiodo’s house. Prosecutors report that Clark made incriminating statements while in custody. He allegedly told his brother he “woke up and she was in his arms covered in blood” and that he tried to give Chiodo mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He also talked about telling police where the body is if he “could get a deal,”Clark is currently being held without bail.

If you are accused and arrested for a violent crime, you need to make sure all your rights are protected. Consult an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney today to represent you.

Father Faces Charges after Accidently Shooting Son

November 13th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

CBS Chicago reports that Charles Johnson faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon after his 17 year old son was accidentally shot on October 20th.

Johnson was apparently arguing with his son and they were struggling for control of the weapon when the gun discharged and the son was shot in the head. The dispute came about after Johnson found the gun in his son’s room. Johnson confronted his son about having the weapon and was trying to take it from him and that is when the argument ensued. The 17 year old is reported to be in critical condition at Saint Francis Hospital which is located in Evanston.

It is currently undetermined if Johnson will face additional charges because he is a convicted felon and is therefore legally disallowed from being in possession of a handgun. The penalty for a felon possessing a handgun can be up to ten years’ imprisonment.

Gun violence is not a new thing in the Chicago area. In fact, it has been a problem that has plagued the city and surrounding areas for decades. For this reason, the courts can be especially hard on cases involving firearms. If you find yourself in a situation where you are charged with a firearm offence, you need to have an aggressive and knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorney by your side to defend you. All cases are not open and shut cases and the outcome cannot be easily predicted. Your attorney can assist you from the bond hearing all the way to the trial, if there is one. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the case against you. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and your attorney will make sure that all of your rights are protected through the judicial process.

Man Sues for 19 Years Spent in Prison for Crime He Didn’t Do

November 10th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Juan Rivera Jr. went through three trials and endured nineteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now the Illinois man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Lake County state’s attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department for conspiring to deny him his Constitutional rights. Also specifically named in the lawsuit are former Sheriff Gary Del Re; current Sheriff Mark Curran; State’s Attorney Michael Waller; assistant state’s attorneys Jeffrey Pavletic, Michael Mermel and Matthew Chancey; Lake County Major Crimes Task Force officers Chuck Fagan, Lucian Tessman, and Donald Meade; the cities of Waukegan and Lake Forest; and the village of Buffalo Grove.

In 1992, Rivera was 19 years old and already in custody on a burglary charge when he became a suspect for the rape and murder of an 11 year old girl. In the lawsuit, he says he was subjected to several days of intensive interrogation, which lead to a mental breakdown on the third day. Medical officials at the jail diagnosed him as being in “acute psychosis” and he was put in constraints and placed in a padded cell. On the fourth day of interrogation, Rivera signed a confession written in English, a language he didn’t have the ability to read or write.

He was convicted of the crime in 1993, a verdict which was later reversed on appeal. He was granted a new trial but was found guilty again in 1998. A judge granted a new trial in 2004, granting Rivera DNA testing. He was found guilty for a third time in 2009. But last year, an appellate court reversed the guilty verdict based on DNA evidence and Rivera was finally released from prison in January. Prosecutors say they will not seek a new trial against him.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Rivera said this lawsuit is not just about him. “I need to look for justice, not just for me, but for the family of the victim,” Rivera said. “This lawsuit will make sure this type of thing will not occur in Lake County or anywhere else ever again.”

This case shows what can happen when someone is accused of a crime and does not have an attorney protecting them. Don’t let this happen to you. If the police are accusing you of a crime, contact an experienced Illinois defense attorney today.

Young Man Shot to Death by Teens

November 7th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

An attempted robbery led to the death of a high school student in the Southeast Side’s Jeffery Manor neighborhood on October 20. Terrance Wright, a senior at Banner Academy South High School, was shot and killed by a group of robbers as he was leaving school, according to Chicago Police.

The 18-year-old Wright was fighting the robbers when one of them shot him in the chest. The young man was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where it was confirmed that he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. His 19th birthday was only a week away. Wright had been bullied at his former school because he was gay. He transferred to Banner last year where he quickly made new friends, said Kathy Jackson, the victim’s aunt. “He had made a big turnaround from the old school to this one,” Jackson said. “And now this happened.”

The assailant was identified as a 14-year-old boy, authorities said. The boy was arrested on the following day of the incident with the help of his mother. He has been charged as a juvenile for the murder of Terrance Wright and will later appear in Juvenile Court. The charges against him are very serious and the penalties could be harsh. Although nothing can unmake the unfortunate series of events, the boy can still benefit from the help of a highly experienced lawyer. For example, his sentence can be reduced

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney at once. Protect your child’s rights and contact a skilled juvenile crime attorney in Cook County.

 

Juvenile Attacks Teacher in Classroom

November 5th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

A 15-year-old high school student is charged with aggravated battery of a school official, reports the Chicago Tribune. The Larkin High School student walked into a classroom on October 24th during a break and attacked a 51-year-old male teacher. He knocked the teacher on to the ground and punched him in the face many times, the officials say.

There were other students in the classroom who managed to stop the attacker and then called for help. The violent student was taken away by the school’s resource officer and dean’s office employees, and eventually he was taken to the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center. The teacher is recovering from his minor injuries in a hospital.

In addition to the charges, the aggressive student might face suspension or expulsion from the school.”This is a senseless act of violence toward another person,” said John Heiderscheidt, District U-46 safety coordinator, who was unable to provide a motive for the attack. “There really is no explanation.” This is the first time the student has committed a crime.

A similar incident took place at Elgin High School in 2008. A female teacher was stabbed by a juvenile, resulting in blindness in her other eye. The perpetrator was convicted later of first-degree attempted murder and is still in prison. That incident resulted in a new law that requires police to alert school officials when a student is being investigated.

In a case like this, and especially when the juvenile is a first-time offender, an experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference. It is possible that all of the charges can be dropped or significantly reduced. Contact a capable Illinois juvenile crime attorney today, and get your child’s life back on track.

Man Arrested after Accidentally Discharging Gun at Son

October 29th, 2012 at 8:00 am

In the evening of Saturday, October 20th, a father and son argued about a handgun.  The gun itself belonged to the father, a convicted felon, named Charles Johnson.    According to police reports, Johnson had originally hidden the gun in his garage but it had gone missing nearly 6 months ago.  The problem arose when his 17-year-old son left the gun on his desk in his room.  The confrontation took a turn for the worse as the two started to wrestle for control of the weapon.

This occurred at their home near the 1300 block of West Estes Avenue in the Rodgers Park neighborhood of Chicago.  “It appears the son had (the gun) and he was trying to take it away from him,” Police News Affairs officer Robert Perez reported. “It discharged in the process.”  The teenager was shot in the head by his father’s gun.  The wound was located around his right check.  He is currently in critical condition as late as Monday morning after the event.  He is being treated at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Due to the fact that Johnson was a convicted felon, he is not allowed to own a handgun.  As such, he was charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon.  He was scheduled to appear in bond court in Cook County on Monday to hear about his charges.  Unfortunately for Johnson, his attempt to protect his son ended up harming him and landing him in custody.  To ensure the most favorable outcome of any unsavory crime, get the legal help that will make the difference.  Contact a credible criminal defense attorney in Cook County today to review the specifics of your case.

Man Warming His Pot Plants Alerts Police of his Crimes

October 26th, 2012 at 8:00 am

On October 6th, a pot farmer living in Aurora was taken into custody.  He was trying to keep his pot plants warm after midnight on that Saturday night by creating two huge bonfires.  His efforts to save his pot from the cold only helped to have them seized.  These blazes alerted the local police to possible illegal activities and ended up getting Daniel Selmon, 23, arrested for his illegal plants.

A police officer for the city of Aurora was on his nightly patrol when he saw the two bonfires near the 800 block of Robert Street around 2:45 on Saturday morning.  Upon investigating these illegal fires, the officer came to find what looked like three large marijuana plants growing in the corner of the yard.  When the police officer confiscated the plants, they found it to weigh nearly seven pounds total.  The police have not declared what the street value is for such a large amount of pot.

Due to this discovery, Selmon was charged with felony possession of cannabis as well as a misdemeanor charge for manufacturing marijuana plants.  The normal punishment for between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of marijuana is between 3 to 7 years and a fine of up to $25,000.  Manufacturing less than 5 plants is only a misdemeanor charge and is punishable by one year in jail.  Drug charges, especially of this magnitude are very serious offenses.  Contact an experienced drug crime defense attorney in Cook County today to start reviewing your case and possible outcomes which you can work towards.