Archive for the ‘Criminal defense’ Category

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.

 

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.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.