Court Watch: Kidnap and Sexual Assault Defendant Pleads Not Guilty by Insanity
Will County Judge to rule on whether murder defendant's confession was forced, and whether cooperative burglars deserve jail time.
The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
OAK FOREST — Former City Attorney Pleads Not Guilty by Insanity
The defense says it will rely on a mental health evaluation to prove David Baitman was insane at the time of the crime, the result of brain damage caused by repeated stroke.
He was acquitted of felony fleeing and eluding police, but also ordered to find a job and seek psychological help.
The National Lawyers Guild was helpful in pairing at least some of the Ashford House attack defendants with attorneys who are sympathetic with anti-racist causes. Arraignment was postponed until June 21.
FRANKFORT — Three cops, three residents and two bankers could be called to testify at trial against Kristin Simon, the president of Shimmering View Homeowners Association indicted recently on felony theft charges. Authorities allege that between May 19, 2009, and May 26, 2011, Simon stole more than $28,000 by recording false entries in the association books and funneling the money to a personal account. She declined Monday to comment on the charges. In court, defense attorney Mark Sutter got a final pretrial hearing—on July 25—to work out a possible plea deal.
NEW LENOX — Judge Daniel Rozak said he needed one more week to determine the right punishment for two Chicago men who robbed the home of a dead man while the body decayed. In February, David D. Reed, 23, and John H. White, 21, pleaded guilty to residential burglary, Class 1 felony carrying a sentence of four to 15 years in prison. But because both men have clean records and a history of substance abuse, they might be eligible for a probation treatment program. Defense attorneys argued last month that drug abuse had impaired Reed’s and White’s reason at the time and then portrayed the young men as remorseful and cooperative. Entreating the court for a stiff sentence, one of the Jones’ cousins said Reed and White were “lacking mercy and void of conscience” and called their behavior “cold, callous and uncaring.”
Either way, prosecutors are planning to call Reed and White as witnesses at the trial of Rodney Julun, another Chicago man. Julun is accused of murdering Dwight Jones and enlisting Reed and White to rob his New Lenox Township home in June 2011.
Rozak also postponed his ruling on whether Julun was forced into a confession, saying he needed more time to review 24 hours of interrogation footage from the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Julun’s attorneys argue that a lonely night on a cold floor produced self-incriminating but also “rambling and incoherent” statements from their client, while his family members contend he was physically abused and missing tufts of hair when they saw him next. On June 2, a detective testified to the contrary and prosecutors gave Rozak the surveillance video which they believe can prove it.
The judge will announce his decisions affecting Reed, White and Julun on June 21.
NEW LENOX — Joseph Bozen and attorney are prepared to go to trial on Oct. 22 in the event a plea deal has not been reached by June 25, court records show. The 28-year-old Orland Park resident is accused of soliciting sex from two teenage girls over the Internet in September 2011. Plea negotiations were delayed for months while attorneys waited on the state crime lab to complete computer forensic work.
On the Docket Next Week
Orland Park man accused of murdering his wife in 2010
Frankfort Township man accused of trying to buy sex with girls over the Internet
Five Indiana men will be arraigned on charges of mob action, armed violence and more
One of the victims of the Ashford House attack returns on charge of unlawful possession of weapon by a felon
Frankfort Township man accused of murder and then plotting to kill a prosecutor
A man fighting charges of sexual abuse will look for a new trial date
Updated June 18 to correct Monday's docket
Looking for more crime news from this week?
- Inside the TCF Bank Robbery: New Details Surface
- Chicago Heights Man Charged With Shooting Ice Cream Seller
- Three Brothers Arrested after High Speed Chase
- POLL: Should Law Go Easy on Senior Facing Drug Charges Because of His Age?
- Police: Man Charged After Grabbing Purse from Elderly Woman's Hand
- Browse Our Public Safety Guide
- Most Serious Trouble Comes from Out of Town, Says Chief
- Store Owner Foils Armed Robbery Attempt
- DUI Suspect Counts Down From 27: '10, 15, 9 ...'