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Archive for October, 2012

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.

Woman Accused of Stealing from Residents in Her Care

October 23rd, 2012 at 10:06 pm

A former manager of an assisted living home for the developmentally disabled has been accused of stealing more than $9000 from four residents of the home by using their bank cards without their permission. Linda Cottrell, 37, was arraigned on charge of financial exploitation of a disabled person. Her bail was set at $50,000 by the court.

According to a report in the Daily Herald, prosecutors told that court that Cottrell had access to the safe where the residents’ bank cards were kept. The alleged thefts began occurring in December 2008 and continued up until December 2011. Cottrell is accused of making multiple unauthorized withdrawals, ranging in amounts between $110 up to $7,698, with a total amount of $8,848 taken.

Cottrell was charged when another employee of the home noticed a discrepancy in some of the accounts. A statement released by State Attorney Robert Berlin said his office would prosecute Cottrell to the “fullest extent of the law.”

“What Ms. Cottrell is accused of is very serious and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Berlin. “People with disabilities rely on others for their day-to-day living and to steal from someone who has placed that amount of trust in you is just disgraceful.”

The charge of financial exploitation of a disabled person is a Class 2 felony, and if found guilty, Cottrell could face prison. If you are arrested and charged with a felony, you need an experienced Cook County felony defense attorney to represent you.

Tragic End to Relationship

October 22nd, 2012 at 6:52 pm

A twenty-two year on-again, off-again relationship has tragically ended after a final domestic argument that has left a 40 year old Antioch woman dead. Michael Axtell, 41, has been charged with the murder of Tammy L. Stone, the mother of his 19 year old daughter.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Stone called the couple’s daughter and told her that she and Axtell were fighting. When the daughter arrived at her parents’ home, bringing two friends with her, she found her mother with a black eye. The daughter got into a physical altercation with her father about the condition her mother was in.

She then went into the garage of the home, and reported to police she heard a “thud” coming from the house. She and her friends went back into the house, as her father was leaving, and found Stone unresponsive in a bedroom. The daughter called 911, but paramedics were unable to revive her. Stone was transferred to the hospital were she later died of her injuries. Preliminary findings by the coroner’s office show that Stone died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Lake County Sheriff Deputy Chief George Manis said it remains unclear what the loud “thud” was. “At this point, we are assuming that Axtell hit her again and she hit the floor,” Manis said. “But he hasn’t confessed to anything at this point, so we aren’t entirely sure. The investigation is still continuing.”

Axtell was arrested a couple of hours after fleeing the scene. He is being held in Lake County jail on $3 million bond. If you are accused of a serious crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Contact a Cook County criminal defense attorney today.

Chuck E. Cheese Employee Accused of Stabbing Customer

October 20th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

An argument about a salad plate escalated into an alleged stabbing and an arrest. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that last month, 19 year old Chuck E. Cheese employee Shardonnae Pruitt was charged with simple assault and battery after stabbing a patron with a box cutter.

The incident occurred at the restaurant/arcade chain, Chuck E. Cheese’s Kedzie Ave.location. According to the report, a 40 year old male customer became very irate when Pruitt took his salad plate away from him. The man threw his eating utensils on the floor and demanded to see the manager. He told the manager he wanted to file a formal complaint. When the manager stepped away, eyewitnesses told police that Pruitt threatened the man and then pulled a box cutter and used it to stab the 25 year old woman that was with the man. The woman was treated at and released from a local hospital.

Pruitt was held by security until police arrived and arrested her. She has been charged with simple assault and battery. There has been no statement released by Chuck E. Cheese corporate about the incident. The Huffington Post is reporting that another crime took place at the chain’s Pittsburgh location. In that incident, a child’s birthday party was interrupted by violence when a woman was upset that her ex had invited his new girlfriend to the party. The woman then attacked multiple other women with a brick and a knife.

Minor disputes can escalate into serious charges. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself against criminal charges, make sure you hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer represent you. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows attorney today.

Woman Stabbed to Death After her Wedding

October 17th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Estella Carrera married Arlondo Jimenez on May 11th, never suspecting that she had less than 48 hours to live. She was found dead just two days after her wedding. She had been stabbed and was still wearing the cocktail dress that she had worn to her wedding reception. Not long after Carrera was found, a murder warrant was issued for her husband.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Jimenez had been seen in a 2006 Maserati and was thought to be fleeing to Mexico to avoid charges. It was later reported that he had stated to friends that there was an emergency the day after his new wife was killed. He had also stated to relatives that he had a fight with Carrera and had left her bleeding but still alive.

Arlondo was reported to be with his brother, Humberto Jimenez when he was attempting to flee. Humberto was being investigated on unrelated drug charges and is accused of leading a major drug conspiracy. During a recent court appearance, new information was gathered regarding the Maserati and it was found in Humberto Jimenez’s garage. The inside of the vehicle was covered in blood and it appears that someone had attempted to clean it up. The Burbank now has possession of the vehicle and Arlondo Jimenez remains at large.

Being a defendant in a criminal case of any kind can be a very stressful and potentially life-altering experience. It is best that you have the best legal counsel possible to defend your case. You deserve and it is your right to have a knowledgeable and capable Cook County attorney present to seek the facts of your case, argue your position and garner the best possible results. You do not have to wait until you are actually charged with the crime; it is your right to have your Cook County defense lawyer there during any questioning during the investigative process.

Gang Violence Escalates on South Side of Chicago

October 16th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago police report that over one fourth of all of the murders in Chicago this year have had some kind of affiliation with the notorious street gang, the Gangster Disciples. There have been over 400 killings just this year, which is the troubled cities highest murder rate in years.

The Gangster Disciples have ruled South Side Chicago neighborhoods for decades. Authorities report that there are now several factions within the same gang such as the Killa Ward and the Hit Squad that are now turning against each other over the same neighborhoods that they once shared. Of all of the known Chicago street gangs, the Gangster Disciples have the highest attribution to the city’s total homicide rate.

It is estimated that there are over 30,000 Gangster Disciples in the city, also making the gang the largest in numbers. It is reported that the younger gang members do not follow the hierarchy that was set up by their predecessors and this is part of the cause for this year’s eruption of violence.

The South Side of Chicago, as well as the rest of the city, has been long plagued by violence and a growing crime rate. The residents have expressed concern about the safety of their neighborhoods. They complain that the criminals seem to get younger and younger. The areas are also rampant with drug crimes.

If you find yourself being charged with a crime of any kind, you need to have an experienced and knowledgeable Illinois defense attorney there to represent your rights and interests. You want a nonjudgmental attorney in Cook County that will simply represent the facts of your case and garner the best results. Not having the proper legal counsel can lead to the loss of liberties and most importantly, your freedom. Call for a free consultation today.

Dangers of Online Dating

October 12th, 2012 at 4:43 am

Police are searching for even more victims of Derrick D. Chaney, who they suspect is an online predator. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chaney was charged for several violations including three counts of criminal sexual assault, unlawful restraint and kidnapping.

Chaney met a woman from Davenport, Iowa on a dating website. He communicated with the woman online and on the telephone for several weeks before meeting the woman at a motel in Aurora, Illinois. He allegedly held the woman against her will and sexually assaulted her at that time.

During the course of the investigation, police were led to believe that he has met numerous other women online through dating and singles websites as well as in several nightclubs. He has used several aliases, lied about his occupation and level of education as well as his financial status. He likes to give an appearance of being rich which, is helped by the fact that he drives luxury vehicles and dresses well. He also has repeatedly boasted about his VIP status at different clubs in the northwest suburbs.

Chaney is being held in the Kane County jail on a $500,000.00 bond. Aurora detectives ask that any women who have been victimized by Chaney to contact the department at (630) 256-3000.

While dating online can be convenient it can also be very dangerous. Practice safety by knowing who you are talking to and always agree to meet in a public place for the first date.

If you or a loved one is finding yourself on the defending end of a criminal case of any kind, you need to have a thorough and aggressive Cook County criminal defense attorney at your side. Your life and freedom may be adversely affected without the proper legal counsel to protect you interests and rights. Give us a call today!

Reckless Driving Leads to Law Change in Illinois

October 5th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

According to the Chicago Tribune, Lukasz Marszalek, 22, was involved in a fatal crash last year that ended the life of Julie Gorczynski, 17. Marszalek was driving his car almost 80 mph in a 40-mph zone when Julie made a left turn in front of him with her Jeep. She was killed in the ensuing crash.

Marszalek was charged with aggravated speeding, which has a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail. On Tuesday, September 25, Marszalek received the maximum punishment and was sentenced to six months in jail. His original charge was aggravated reckless driving, which is a felony, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor because there was not enough evidence. Marszalek also had previous speeding violations and seven court supervisions, and soon after the crash he got a speeding ticket in Indiana.

A new legislation, called Julie’s Law, that imposes more serious penalties on excessive speeders, was signed in July. Julie Gorczynski’s parents helped in getting the legislation through the Illinois General Assembly. The law prohibits judges from giving court supervision to drivers that are caught driving over 25 mph over the limit on a non-rural road or 30 mph on a highway. Formerly supervision could be granted for drivers traveling up to 40 mph over the limit.

If Marszalek’s supervisions for traffic violations would have been convictions, he might not have had his driving privileges and, in turn, he might not have been driving when the crash took place. In the future, the penalties for traffic violations are going to be tougher. Therefore, it is important to get help from skilled lawyers who can help in these situations and know best how to protect your rights. If you have been charged with a traffic offense, you should contact a dedicated traffic violations defense lawyer in Cook County.

Prosecutor Gets Stabbed and Battered by Convicted Felon

October 2nd, 2012 at 6:28 pm

On September 14th, a Cook County prosecutor intervened in a quarrel between four men which nearly cost him his life, reports the Chicago Tribune. He was on his way to meet a friend at Diversey Harbor to go fishing when he saw two men being chased by two guys in a park. The men were screaming for help, so the prosecutor intervened. He yelled to the chasers and told them to stop, but instead of stopping, they attacked the prosecutor. He managed to grab one of the attackers and tried to keep use him as a shield between himself and the second attacker, but he lost his footing and fell to the ground. The attackers hit him with a beer bottle and stabbed him several times.

The wounded prosecutor was helped to a nearby hospital by his friend who arrived near the park not long after the attack. The prosecutor had suffered injuries to his side, face, and under his right arm. The injuries were not severe, however, and he is recovering from the attack at home.

One attacker, Edgar Diaz, 21, was arrested a few days after the incident. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Diaz has been convicted before of unlawful use of a weapon and he has also been involved in other felonies, for example, armed violence and drug crimes. Diaz’s bond court was held on September 24.

Diaz is looking at a long prison sentence. His best option is to get legal help from experienced lawyers who can build a strong defense. Although Diaz probably cannot avoid a conviction, his penalties have the potential to be reduced. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a similar crime, contact a skilled and knowledgeable felony defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois.

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