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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 the night he died. Nerheim took considerable heat before backing down from his initial plan to hold the Chicago teens responsible for Swopes’ death under the proximate cause rule that makes perps accountable for foreseeable outcomes in the commission of forcible felonies.

A 75-year-old man with a concealed-carry license began shooting when he found the teens attempting to steal his car in a secluded part of the hamlet in Chicago’s northern suburbs. A bullet struck Swopes in the head and the gang left him in nearby Gurnee, where he later died, before high-tailing it back to the Windy City in a high-speed chase with Lake County sheriff’s deputies. Nerheim and attorneys for the defendants, all but one under the age of 18, worked out plea deals after public outcry erupted over his decision to pursue the felony rap. Lawmakers in Springfield want to remove Illinois from the list of states that subject accomplices to felony murder charges in their criminal codes.