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October 2010 Archives

Officials confirmed earlier this week that the investigation into the disappearance of Northern Illinois University student Antinette "Toni" Keller is a homicide investigation, according to the Chicago Tribune. While items belonging to the student were found near some badly burned human remains, they were unable to be positively identified.

Unless that changes, charges brought against potential suspects would lack a crucial piece of evidence. The remains were found on Oct. 16, just two days after Toni Keller's disappearance, and determined to be human a week later. 

Dyland Weather, father of slain 28-year-old mother Donesha Stovall, offered a $5,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of his daughter's killer, the Chicago Tribune reported. The slain woman's 9-year-old daughter, Clarisma Torrey, and her boyfriend's 16-year-old son, Shaquille Davis, also were killed in the shooting.

Donesha Stovall's 4-year son, Nate Davis, was shot at least six times but is in stable condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He remains unconscious, though, as his Spider-Man Halloween costume sits next to his hospital bed.

The Chicago Tribune profiled suburban domestic violence victim Rebecca Mercado, who hopes her case will help strengthen prison sentences for criminals convicted of domestic abuse involving torture. The 26-year-old woman, who underwent hours of brutal torture, said she's surprised she survived the ordeal.  

Ex-husband Erick Mercado-Hernandez pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and domestic battery and was sentenced in August to four and a half years in prison, likely on the advice of his Chicago criminal defense attorney.

The Chicago Tribune reported that at least six individuals on Chicago's South and West Sides were shot last Monday, resulting in two deaths. The city has seen a decline in violent crime in the past year but gun violence still remains a big problem in Chicago.

An 18-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the head was discovered by police on the 8400 block of South Thoop Street in the Gresham neighborhood. Deno Wooldridge was found at the same address but was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center.

Bassam Naoum, the friendly but tough-as-nails convenience store owner known by neighbors as "Ollie," was fatally shot six times in the back over the weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He opened his first store in 1995, near the Cabrini-Green public-housing project, in a neighborhood historically plagued by violence.

He previously survived four armed robberies and countless break-ins but he didn't make it out alive after a probable botched robbery ended in gunfire. Nothing was taken from the scene of the crime, police said.

Bassam Naoum was alone when the shooting occurred and police so far have few leads. 

Laura Santini and 36-year-old daughter Rosann Santini were extradited from Arizona to Chicago to face charges that they stole more than $100,000 through fraud, the Chicago Tribune reported. The pair, who each face charges of felony theft and theft by deception, was arrested in Arizona earlier in the summer after fleeing Illinois.

The criminal complaint against them states that the two worked out of a Far Northwest Side home, calling themselves fortune tellers and psychic healers. They allegedly told victims, who had responded to their ads for psychic services, that their money was emitting "demonic energy" and that they would "cleanse" the cash for them.

As Lynwood police officer Brian E. Dorian pleaded not guilty to killing one and wounding two others, more than 50 supporters filled the small Will County courtroom, the Chicago Tribune reported. Some of the supporters openly wept as he entered his plea and others wore "Free Brian" t-shirts.

Brian Dorian was arrested on a first-degree murder charge last week at his Crete home and is being held on $2.5 million bail.

It's an extremely bizarre case, as Fox New explains.

In one of the more bizarre cases Chicago has seen in a while, 27-year-old Jimmy McCoy was arrested for allegedly stealing an ambulance while two paramedics were working on a friend who was suffering from complications related to his diabetes.

The first question most people probably have is, "Why?" Did he actually think he was helping?

Yes, according to Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford. And Jimmy McCoy, who has been previously arrested 32 times, allegedly told officers he "thought he could get to the hospital quicker" than the ambulance drivers.

Authorities charged 33-year-old Admise Wilson with attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm after the heist of a Payday Loan Store franchise in Hanover Park, the Chicago Tribune reported. His bond was set at $1 million, all but guaranteeing his custody in jail until trial.

The name of the 34-year-old victim, who was shot in the face with a .22-caliber handgun, was not disclosed by authorities. She underwent surgery at St. Alexis Medical Center and was reported in stable condition.

Police said Admise Wilson walked into the Payday Loan Store in Hanover Park last Tuesday and his gun at the clerk, striking her in the forehead. She said she pretended she was dead while the suspect allegedly jumped over the counter, took roughly $240 in cash, threw a paper shredder on top of her and then fled by foot.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Carla Oglesby, a top aide to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, was arrested on suspicion of steering hundreds of thousands of dollars in no-bid contracts to firms that in many cases didn't perform any work. Two of the contractors were actually her own companies.

The investigation is ongoing but but prosecutors said little or no legitimate work was performed by the dozen or so companies that received contracts under Carla Oglesby's direction.

She has been charged with a class X felony count of theft of government property over $100,000, a class 1 felony count of money laundering over $100,000 and a class 3 felony count of official misconduct, according to the criminal complaint.

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis released crime statistics last Sunday showing a 2.3 percent decline in murders just as various community groups were preparing for a rally against youth violence, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Additionally, the stats show that criminal sexual assaults were down 9 percent, aggravated battery fell 7.7 percent and robberies dropped by double digits.

That's certainly encouraging for a city known nationwide for its rash of violent crimes. There were eight fewer murders this year than last year by this time and it's on pace with 2007's figures, in which the murder total was the lowest since 1965.

Gurnee police officer Jay Simon faces up to five years in prison after he was convicted of molesting a 10-year-old girl in his home, the Chicago Daily Herald reported. But he may also be eligible for probation in his conviction on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He was ordered held in jail until his next court date on Oct. 12, where his sentence will be determined. There were minor difference in detail between the two witnesses, who were present the night of the abuse, which Chicago criminal defense attorney Torrie Newsome said cast doubt on the charges:

"Anyone can get up here and say what they want to say. But look at the details of what they said and ask yourself 'Does this make sense?'"