Archive for the ‘Criminal defense’ Category

Woman Accused of Leaving Scene of Fatal Accident

March 15th, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Chicago criminal defense lawyer    (Kerry)A 44 year-old Chicago woman is being held on $2 million bail for a January crash that killed two women.   Lisa Elner has been charged with failure to report an accident involving death, aggravated driving under the influence involving death, possession of cocaine and other traffic charges.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, on Jan. 26, around 7 a.m., police found Elner wandering around near the entrance ramp to southbound Interstate 55 at Harlem Avenue. She was freezing and according to police, intoxicated. She also was seriously injured and police took her to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn. Elner told police she was walking home from a barroom, but never said anything to them about a car accident.

Five hours later, a trucker found an overturned SUV, along the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Police later discovered the bodies of two women, Michelle Miranda, 37, of Berwyn, and Sandra Frankum, 36, of Bolingbrook. An investigation revealed that that the SUV was headed south on Harlem approaching the I-55 ramp about 3 a.m. when the driver lost control and the vehicle jumped a curb and crashed through a barrier before plunging at least 50 feet onto the road below.

Given the condition police found Elsner, and the proximity to the accident location, they concluded that she must have been involved in the accident. She surrendered to police.

The defendant in this case is facing very serious charges and if found guilty, is also facing prison. If you are accused of a serious crime, contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Two Women Arrested for Protesting Naperville’s Smart Meter Installation

March 12th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

KerryTwo members of a group opposing the installation of wireless electric ‘smart meters’ in Naperville, IL have been arrested for refusing to allow utility workers on their property to install the meters. Malia “Kim” Bendis and Jennifer Stahl are members of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NMSA), a group formed to protest the City of Naperville’s decision to make everyone who lives within the Naperville city limits and is a customer of the city-owned electric utility — have the new wireless meters installed in their homes and businesses.  If a customer doesn’t want the smart meter, they can pay $68 to have a non-wireless meter installed and a monthly service fee of $25 to cover the cost of having a meter reader come to the property to obtain the read. The city has already installed 57,000 smart meters and is about 99 percent finished with the process according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

NMSA objects to the forced installations, citing concerns of over whether the wireless meters will affect health, security and privacy and have filed a federal lawsuit against the city.

The city has been sending police escorts along with utility workers to the remaining locations that still require meter installations. These locations had previously sent away installers. When they showed up at Stahl’s home and she refused them entrance onto her property, installers cut the lock she had he had placed on her fence came onto her property.  When she stood in front of her electric meter and refused to move, she was arrested.

She has received two ordinance violation citations — interfering with a police officer and preventing access to customer premises. Bendis, who was the president of NMSA, was also at the home and was charged with attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.

If you’ve been charged with a crime related to any type of civil disobedience or protest, you should contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney to make sure you receive the best defense possible.

Man Charged with Domestic Battery | Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

March 9th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Chicago criminal defense attorney   (Kerry)

Joseph L. Lopez Jr.

A 34 year-old Mt. Prospect man is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond, accused of choking and beating a woman and telling her that he would “kill her or bury her alive” after she told him she wanted to end their relationship.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Joseph L. Lopez Jr., grabbed the woman and pushed her into her car, striking her with a closed fist after she tried to break off their two year relationship. Lopez threatened the woman, telling her he would “kill her or bury her alive” if she did not continue dating him. He also told her he would “drive her to Chicago and dissolve her body” if she tried calling police.

Prosecutors told the court that Lopez also slammed the woman’s head into the center console of the car. He choked her until she lost consciousness. When she came to, she told Lopez she would continue to see him and he let her go.

She then drove herself to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with internal injuries, including a lacerated liver. The woman also had several clumps of hair missing from her scalp. Lopez was taken into custody three days after the incident when police found him in the 1400 block of Brownstone Court in Mount Prospect. He threatened to shoot police and then turn the gun on himself, according to a Cook County Sheriff’s report. Lopez has been charged with two counts of domestic battery.

If you have been charged with domestic battery, or any other serious crime, you need to retain the services of an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Depending on mandatory sentencing guidelines and past criminal history, a guilty finding could mean a prison sentence.

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Pleads Guilty to Fraud

March 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am

American FlagIn a surprising turn of events, Jesse Jackson Jr. went from a man with huge political aspirations to someone who seems to have lost control.  The Democratic Representative from Chicago stepped down recently while being investigated and dealing with health issues.  He pleaded guilty to one felony fraud charge on Wednesday February 20th to secure a plea deal.  He was charged with fraud for using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for his lavish living expenses.

The court filed a 22 page report which outlines the spending habits of a politician who many thought would one day run for Mayor in Chicago or President of the US.  It started when Jesse opened a campaign account and then withdrew nearly $45,000 to purchase a Rolex watch.    He went on to purchase “high-end electronic items, collector’s items, clothing, food and supplies for daily consumption, movie tickets, health club dates, personal travel, and personal dining expenses,” according to the prosecution.

The details of his plea agreement allow his punishment range to be between 46 to 57 months in prison.  Though, it is not set in stone because both the defense and prosecution can influence the sentencing of the case.  The defense will urge the judge to consider probation given Jesse’s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Jesse’s wife Sandi has also been charged with assisting the cover-up of this fraud.  Sandi was formerly an alderman for the city of Chicago.  She pleaded guilty of failing to report that money from her aldermanic campaign was used as personal income also for failing to report this income on her tax return.  Her possible sentencing will be in the range of 1 to 2 years in prison.

What was once a promising career in politics for the Jackson may now be forever damaged.  White collar crimes can ruin reputations and result in jail time.  If you have been charged with any white collar crime, then it is important to receive legal guidance.  Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows today.

Lovers Quarrel on Valentine’s Day Turns Bloody

March 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 am

loveOn Thursday February 14th, a couple celebrated Valentine’s Day with a night on the town.  Skokie resident Elaine Cook, 51, and her boyfriend later returned to her apartment and got into a fight.  The altercation became bloody when Cook bit her boyfriend’s tongue.

At first, Cook requested that her boyfriend of ten months to leave.  She became even more upset when he attempted to kiss her goodnight.  Cook bit off a chunk of her boyfriend’s tongue.  She was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic battery and is being held in place of a $100,000 bail.

The boyfriend, who asked not to be named in the press, put the portion of his tongue on ice in an attempt to have it reattached.  An ambulance was called by Cook’s roommate and transported the boyfriend to Evanston Hospital.  Unfortunately, the doctors were unable to reattach the chunk of tongue due to a lack of blood flow.

At this point, the 47 year old man from Chicago is unsure what the next step will be.  He reported that “It’s just sad. The whole thing.  I’m in a lot of pain and I’m not sure what direction I’m going to at this point.”  He does know that he doesn’t want to see Cook in jail or have her life ruined.

Most people are not lucky enough to have charges dropped when a crime is committed.  The reality of this situation is that Cook might be tried and found guilty of domestic abuse.  If you have been accused of assault, it is important to have the legal guidance of a professional.  Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Cook County to protect your reputation and future.

Iraq War Vet Facing Murder Charges

February 28th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Chicago IL Criminal Law AttorneyA father of two small children and a loving husband who dedicates his life to our nation is a hero. One who put his life on the line for four tours of duty in Iraq, scouting out 150 insurgents to rid them to become the United States deadliest sniper, to come home and help his fellow veterans, becomes a legend. Respect for such a patriotic family man should go wherever he goes. Unfortunately, the things that we are most passionate about can hurt us.

Former marine and post-traumatic stress disorder victim, Eddie Ray Routh, has been charged with shooting Navy SEAL sniper great, Chris Kyle and neighbor friend, Chad Littlefield in a Glen Close, Texas, gun range. He is charged with three counts of murder after having a $3 million bond set. As a PTSD war veteran, Routh was probably spending time with Kyle because Kyle’s heart was to help other war veterans through the transition of being back home from the war front. Though they did not meet through Kyle’s organization for war veterans with PTSD, Kyle was known to help anyone he met.

A decorated veteran serving from 1999-2009, Kyle achieved many accomplishments:

Two Silver Stars; five Bronze Stars of Valor; two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals; and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. He made his legacy known through co-writing “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History” with Scott McEwen.

Though our hearts can help many people, sometimes it can lead to a serious and dangerous situation. If you are in a place where boundaries have been crossed, contact a criminal lawyer in the Illinois area. An attorney who knows the law inside and out makes a world of difference for your safety and well-being.

Illinois Auditor General Charged with DUI

February 26th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

LeeviIllinois Auditor General William Holland was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Springfield on February 8, the Chicago Tribune reported. Holland, 61, admitted that he received tickets for alleged drunken driving and improper lane usage. According to a police report, Holland “had a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, red, blood-shot glassy eyes.” Holland underwent field sobriety tests, which he failed. He also refused to take a breath test which means his license will be suspended for a year.

Holland said the entire matter was “unfortunate… I was in my own car,” he said. “It was not a state vehicle. There was nobody else with me. I was on my own time. I’m happy to say that there was no damage to any property or any individual.” He is scheduled for a court appearance in March.

Holland was appointed last year to his third term as the state’s government watchdog. When he was voted for a third term, lawmakers praised his efforts in the investigation into the administration of

Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Illinois Senate moved the former governor from office in January 2009. Blagojevich was convicted in federal court of wide-ranging corruption and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Drunken driving charges should not be taken lightly. It isn’t smart to fight these charges without an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A DUI charge can have serious consequences on both your personal and professional life. If you have been charged with DUI, it is in your best interests to contact a capable Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately.

Evanston Man Admits Guilt in Buying Stolen Merchandise

February 23rd, 2013 at 4:29 pm

LeeviA rare coin dealer has pleaded guilty to buying purportedly stolen valuables from undercover police officers who posed as criminals, the Chicago Tribune reported. James Coello, 47, pleaded guilty to “continuing a financial crimes enterprise” on February 6. His sentence includes 36 months of probation, 100 hours of community service and some fees and fines.

Although Coello originally had pleaded not guilty, the coin dealer changed his mind and made a plea bargain with the prosecution. “I don’t really know the many machinations of how this works. All I know is I paid a lawyer and he pretty much took care of everything,” Coello said. It is always important to discuss the details of your case with a criminal defense lawyer no matter what the charges are.

Coello was arrested in September after the undercover operation in which police sold him purportedly stolen merchandise such as jewelry, coins and watches. Furthermore, investigators found stolen property, which was reported stolen in recent burglaries, from Coello’s store.

The investigation into Coello’s activities had begun six months before his arrest when police learned that stolen valuables were being purchased at Coello’s store. The undercover officials said to Coello that the items they were selling were stolen. Coello also did not record the sales nor asked for identification from sellers.

If you have been charged with a similar crime, you need to talk to a criminal defense lawyer at once. Make sure your defense is in capable hands. Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Cook County at your earliest convenience.

Cases Dropped Involving Schaumburg Police Officers

February 20th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

  A 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 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 the 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 Oakbrook who can review the particulars of your arrest.

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.