The Chicago Criminal Law Blog - Find a Chicago Criminal Attorney

February 2010 Archives

Cook County prosecutors charged Daquane Gary and Jerrod Evans with armed robbery after they allegedly took pizzas and petty cash at gunpoint from at least two different delivery men, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Police sources told reporters they found the 18-year-old men by tracking their footprints in the snow, which led from the scene of one of the crimes to Gary's home. They allegedly also found two guns and an unspecified quantity of marijuana.

The two were ordered held on $250,000 bail and most likely have already contacted a Chicago criminal attorney.

Miranda Rights: Hollywood Vs. Reality

Everyone has seen at least one crime drama on television such as Law & Order, where the officer approaches the bad guy, usually at the climax of the episode, and calmly (often smugly) informs him that he "has the right to remain silent, anything you say may be used against you in a court of law..." and so on.

The familiar utterance is referred to as an arrestee's "Miranda" rights, named after the 1966 US Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, according to FindLaw. Those rights, essentially a friendly reminder of the suspect's 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination, are read virtually every time a perpetrator is handcuffed in the movies and on T.V.

But most Illinois criminal defense attorneys probably roll their eyes when they see this not-so-accurate depiction, as explained by FindLaw. 

Former Melrose Park Police Chief Vito Scavo could have been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison but instead got a six-year sentence, according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times. Mr. Scavo was found guilty on extortion and racketeering charges linked to his private security firm.

The former police chief extorted area business owners to hire his private security firm. However, details of just how he pressured or coerced businesses were not disclosed in the article. 

Mr. Scavo's Chicago criminal defense attorneys had asked for a 5-year sentence for the fraud conviction, according to the article. 

Trying Kids as Adults: Is it Effective?

Sometimes we hear about an especially heinous crime committed by a 15 or 16-year-old, such as aggravated armed robbery or first-degree murder, and we can see how frustrated the victims of the crime, or even the victim's family can get because of juvenile courts.

Yet, often these juvenile delinquents are tried as adults; depending on the prosecutor. If these children commit adult crimes then they should have to face adult time, so goes the rationale in favor of what is known in the legal system as a "juvenile waiver," as described by FindLaw.

But if the whole point of a criminal sentence is either rehabilitation or deterrence of future crimes, we must ask whether the juvenile waiver is effective.

Twenty-year-old Emmanuel Perez-Gomez was ordered to be held on a $3 million bond after he was arrested following an altercation with police, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Police took Mr. Perez-Gomez into custody after he checked himself into Swedish Covenant Hospital for a gunshot wound.

He faces three felony counts of attempted murder, three counts of felony aggravated discharge of a firearm and one misdemeanor count of aggravated assault, according to sources.

 A Chicago criminal defense attorney would tell you that the charges against Mr. Perez-Gomez are pretty serious.

A 28-year-old fast-food restaurant manager pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the Beacon-News reports. Sandwich-based Bryan Kerber was facing 53 additional counts but they were dropped in exchange for his plea, according to reporters.

Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis told reporters that the 16-year-old (at the time) victim's parents were happy with the outcome:

"This sentence holds the defendant accountable for his actions against the victim while not requiring the victim to have to testify in this case."

In yet another case illustrating the increasingly blurred lines between the real world and online social networks, the Naperville Sun reported on a 19-year-old Naperville-area man who was arrested on suspicion of threatening his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, a felony.

The accused, Christopher J. Bensfield, allegedly posted messages threatening the lives of the identified 19-year-old woman and her current love interest through the popular social network Facebook. Police Sgt. Gregg Bell told reporters that Bensfield has been charged in DuPage County Circuit Court with felony harassment via electronic communication.

Bensfield remained in custody in the Wheaton jail on a $12,500 bond as of Feb. 5, according to the article.

Last August, two female infant skeletons were found wrapped in cloth and stuffed into plastic bags in the trunk of a car roughly one year after it was impounded in Northern Illinois, according to an ABC 7 news report. Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia told reporters more forensic testing is needed to determine cause of death, according to the article. 

The car is registered to 28-year-old Katie Stockton, who was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Aug. 5 for the death of a newborn girl called Baby Crystal, ABC 7 reports.

An update on the story by WIFR News reports that the other two infants also are Stockton's, based on DNA testing.

Former Niles police officer William Christie was charged with stealing $1,700 from a man he found dead in his YMCA room, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He has been charged with theft and official misconduct, held on $50,000 bond.

According to official reports cited by the Tribune, Christie had responded to a call that a man was dead at the Niles YMCA facility last November. He sealed the room, told YMCA staff that no one was allowed in the room and made several attempts to enter the room, according to the authorities.

The damage sustained from a three-alarm fire at Edgebrook Lutheran Church on the Northwest Side was estimated at $1 million dollars according to the Chicago Sun-Times. James Deichman, a 61 year old parishioner, was held on $1 million dollar bond after he was charged with the felony.  

Mr. Deichman was found inside the burning church by Jefferson Park District police Sgt. James Blaul. The sergeant said he saw a garbage fire behind the building last Sunday evening, and then noticed a broken window and the glow from a fire inside.

Perhaps on the advice of his Chicago criminal defense attorney, Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th Ward) pleaded guilty to charges of taking bribes and will spend 28 months in prison, according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times. He pleaded guilty to a bribery and fraud scheme involving developer Calvin Boender.

The Chicago City Council member, a key ally to Mayor Daley, also submitted his resignation earlier this week. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Carothers is the 31st Chicago alderman convicted of crime since 1973.

ICE Gang Sweep Leads to 12 Arrests

A cooperative effort by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), federal, state and local law enforcement officials is targeting so-called "transnational gangs" in an 83-city crackdown. The effort is part of an initiative to re-introduce comprehensive immigration reform in the nation's capital.

Immigration officials recently announced the arrest of 476 immigrants on gang-related charges, including a dozen in and around Chicago. The devastating effects of gangs in Chicago is well known. RICO (Racketeering-Influenced Corrupt Organizations) Act is known under the premise of the law of conspiracy is that criminals together pose a greater danger than criminals alone. Gangs are known to do this. 

These gang members swept up by ICE will need to meet with a Chicago criminal attorney for their felony charges.