Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Prosecutors dropped felony pot charges against a New Jersey man who owns a recording company in Jamaica after a judge ruled police took too long getting a drug dog out to his car.
A Cook County judge ruled that the state police took too long to send a drug dog out to a traffic stop, and that none of the marijuana found in a New Jersey man's trunk could be used as evidence against him. "Forty-one minutes to wait for the dog to arrive was too long," Judge Frank Zelezinski said as he tossed the evidence found in the trunk of 52-year-old Martin Scott's car in September 2011. That evidence was enough marijuana to get Scott locked up for at least six years—and as many as 30—if he had been found guilty of the manufacture or delivery of more than 500 grams of cannabis. Scott was also charged with possessing more than 500 grams of cannabis. Prosecutor Nicholas D'Angelo dropped the charges after Zelezinski made his ruling …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
A former Plainfield North gym teacher pleaded guilty to meeting a teen for sex. And that was just one of the things going on in court this week.
More than two years after the police caught her in a car with a half-dressed student from the high school where she was a teacher, Ashley Blumenshine copped a plea. Blumenshine, a 30-year-old former Plainfield North gym teacher, will have to do 11 days in jail. She will also spend two years on sex offender probation and 10 yeas on the Illinois sex offender registry. She tearfully apologized before she was taken into custody to start doing her time. Let's look at what else was going on in the area's courthouses this past week: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
A New Lenox man spoke of his "horrific" ordeal in the county jail after he was arrested for a murder someone else was wanted for.
We started the week off by talking with the New Lenox man jailed for two weeks for a murder allegedly committed by someone else with the same name. Pedro Hernandez, 67, said his time in the Will County jail was "horrific," and that he's looking for a lawyer to talk to about filing a lawsuit. But Hernandez's ordeal was just one of the things going on last week. There was also: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
There's not going to be a special prosecutor or a special hearing in the Hickory Street double murder case. At least not yet.
It was another week abbreviated by a court holiday. But even with just four days instead of five, there was plenty going on at the area's courthouses. In Joliet, we had one of the defense lawyers in the Nightmare on Hickory Street double murder case asking for a special hearing to find out how Patch obtained police reports no other news outlet seems able get their hands on. The Will County judge presiding over the case didn't go along with it, at least not for the moment. The judge did say he may revisit the issue of a special evidentiary hearing in the future. Attorneys representing the two young men and two young women charged with brutal murdering Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, backed off on their request for a special …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The 22-year-old told his mother she ruined his life before he stabbed her and left her in a ditch, a prosecutor said.
A Cook County judge set bail at $2 million for a local man charged with stabbing his mother and leaving her in a ditch. Blake Springsteen, 22, appeared before Judge Brian Flaherty at the Markham Courthouse. Springsteen faces a charge of attempted murder in connection with the alleged March 4 attack on his 46-year-old mother, Jennifer Springsteen. Assistant State's Attorney Julia Ramirez said Jennifer Springsteen returned to her 3653 W. Flossmoor Road home that day about noon. Blake Springsteen, who also lived there along with his father and two brothers, was in the house when his mother arrived. The mother and son argued, Ramirez said, and Jennifer Springsteen told Blake Springsteen to leave the house or she would call the police. Blake …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Paul McKinley says his former violent crimes were a product of the environment in which he was raised, and now he wants to fight back so others don’t follow in his footsteps.
2nd District Republican candidate Paul McKinley hopes to beat frontrunner Robin Kelly for the seat of defamed former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., but his record of criminal history may make the already uphill battle even steeper. McKinley spent nearly 20 years—almost a third of his life—in state prison after he was convicted of “burglarizing a store, pistol-whipping a man for his watch and robbing a woman of $60 at gunpoint,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Now, he says he’s running as an “ex-offender running to save the next offender.” Reporters tried questioning McKinley about his former offenses Monday, but he responded with some hostility and accused one reporter of being a racist. "Those white folks told you to dig as deep as you could," …
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The judge for the Hickory Street double murder case doesn't want anyone talking.
The Hickory Street double murder case took a surprising twist this week when one of the defense lawyers complained about stories in Patch and the judge ordered the attorneys involved not to talk to the media. Will County Judge Gerald Kinney also sealed the file for the case against accused killers Adam Landerman, 19, Joshua Miner, 24, Alisa Massaro, 18, and Bethany McKee, also 18. The four were charged with murdering Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, in Massaro's house on Hickory Street in Joliet. Judge Kinney said he wants both defense attorneys and prosecutors to investigate who allegedly leaked police reports. The judge said he will revisit the issue on March 11. Here's what else was going on in the area's courthouses last week…
Saturday, February 23, 2013
The week was packed with Drew Peterson, but it looks like we're not going to be seeing so much of him anymore.
It was Drew Peterson all day every day in the week that just ended. It started out with a hearing to see if he needs to have a new murder trial, and that hearing went on for another two days. A college professor and a retired judge both got on the witness stand and told how former Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky not only failed to provide effective counsel at this summer's murder trial, but also committed an ethical violation by entering into a publicity contract with his client. Brodsky's former law partner got up as well and claimed Brodsky physically attacked her in the Chicago office they shared. Even Brodsky had to testify, and told all about the 11 cents he and Peterson made off a website set up to solicit donations for the disgraced …
Friday, February 8, 2013
The former U.S. Representative is facing potentially serious jail time after a federal investigation into alleged misuse of campaign finances.
“Significant jail time,” is included in a potential plea deal for former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., Sun-Times Media reports. Federal authorities began an investigation into Jackson’s alleged misuse of campaign money in October 2012, while Jackson was on a leave of absence for mental disorders. The initial federal probe dovetailed into a second probe into Jackson’s wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson. There is some speculation that Jackson ratted on his wife, the Sun-Times reports. Reports of Jackson’s misused finances include the purchase of a $40,000 Rolex watch and $5,000 per month to pay his wife’s consulting firm, according to the report. For more, read the Sun-Times Media
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
A Harvey man in jail on a burglary charge out of Frankfort says he is afraid correctional officers will kill him for lawsuits he filed alleging he was beaten and abused.
Six months after he was locked up in the Will County jail on burglary and theft charges, William Jenkins said guards bashed his head against a shower stall wall before pushing and punching him during a strip search. Six months after that alleged attack, the 29-year-old Harvey man said members of the jail's black-clad Emergency Response Team locked went into his cell and beat him so badly he was sent to the medical wing for two weeks. Jenkins sued six different deputies—three in connection with each alleged attack—shortly after the respective incidents. And now he fears he will be killed for blowing the whistle, said his lawyer. "That's exactly what he is alleging," said Joliet attorney John Schrock, adding that Jenkins is in "serious fear …