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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Pritzker Pot Plan Offers Offenders Inside Track on Licenses

Those with cannabis convictions may be eligible for preferential treatment under a plan championed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker that aims to help communities most affected by the state’s war on drugs share the economic benefits of legal weed. Timed with the lifting of prohibition for recreational use that takes effect in January, the governor is… Read More »

Statutes of Limitations Exist for a Reason

So say judges in federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals who dismissed a petition by three Chicago men alleging they were improperly detained at the city’s notorious Homan Square cop shop and intimidated into silence by the officers who held them there. This despite a two-year wait for a written opinion on their initial complaint… Read More »

Ruling in Bail Appeal Seeks Precedent

Appellate judges who affirmed a decision made in Cook County Circuit Court to deny bail to a suspected armed robber conceded they did so absent much in the way of guidance and without complete records of court proceedings. In upholding Judge Thomas Byrne’s decision to keep Larenz Simmons behind bars as he awaits trial for… Read More »

Terry Appeal Shot Down on Burden of Proof

A suspected gang banger’s conviction on weapons charges stands after judges in the First District Appellate Court ruled that he failed to prove Chicago cops violated his Fourth Amendment rights during a 2016 arrest. Giovanni Salgado claimed that by going for the gun he had hidden beneath his shirt, Sgt. Ricky Rivera executed an unlawful… Read More »

Cop Sentence Sought in Batavia Break-In

A public defender in Kane County seeking leniency for his client wants a judge there to apply the same sentencing guidelines used for the Chicago cop convicted in the high-profile killing of teenager Laquan McDonald five years ago. Nicholas Feda requested that Christopher Turecek be sentenced on the lesser of the convictions he received in… Read More »

Counsel’s Failure Wins Convict New Trial

A Streamwood felon will get a new trial after appellate judges in the First District ruled that he’d been poorly represented and wrongly sentenced when tried in connection with a parole violation in 2014. James Utley claimed ownership of the drugs and guns found in his wife’s home when cops and parole officers went there… Read More »

Proximate Cause Escapes Lake County Trial

So, too, the teens that were with a 14-year-old who lost his life when a bullet fired by a homeowner in Old Mill Creek struck him in an August burglary attempt. This after Michael Nerheim, the State’s Attorney in Lake County, said he won’t seek murder charges against the five who were with Jaquan Swopes… Read More »

Appellate Court Affirms Bright Line on Jury Trials

A convicted drug dealer will get a new trial thanks to appellate judges in the First District, who agreed the man had the right to face the bench even as preparations were well underway for a date with a jury. A three-member panel reversed a Cook County judge’s decision to let the jury that subsequently… Read More »

Hearsay Keeps Gangland Killer Behind Bars

The hearsay of fellow gang bangers is enough to keep a convicted killer behind bars, according to a majority of First District Appellate Court judges, who upheld a 2010 jury verdict that hinged on their testimony. While no member of the Two-Six street gang saw Dennis Jaimes fire at two members of a rival gang,… Read More »

Battle Fatigue No Cover for Road Rage Shooter

A combat veteran who claimed that post-traumatic stress disorder led him to fire on a vehicle in an act of self-defense got no sympathy from the First District Court of Appeals, which ruled his 2012 conviction for aggravated discharge of a firearm at a Calumet City stoplight should stand. A Cook County judge took Wendell… Read More »