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January 2011 Archives

Teens Sentenced to Probation For Aggravated Assault

Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Berman in Cook County sentenced a 12-year-old boy and his 13-year-old accomplice to one year of probation for throwing bricks outside Margaret Matthews’ South Shore home. Berman also ordered the 12-year-old to perform 50 hours of community service while the 13-year-old commits to 30 hours, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Both teens had pleaded guilty last month to charges of aggravated assault for the attack in September. Berman said the law prohibited him from sentencing the teens to a juvenile detention center but noted that the boys had “no red flags” in their background. Berman assured the teens’ parents that their sentences paralleled what other juveniles had received for similar offenses.

Former Chicago Cop Jon Burge Sentenced To 4.5 Years In Prison

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Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge was arrested for his infamous role in the widespread torture of minority suspects, which led to a number of unlawful and mistaken criminal convictions. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Burge is alleged to have systematically persecuted African-American suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.

Race and status appeared to have potentially played a role in the abuse, but Burge could not be tried for the alleged torment he caused suspects because the statute of limitations for the torture cases had already expired. However, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow did sentence the former cop to four and a half years in prison for perjury and obstruction.

Teen Gang Arrested For Shoplifting on Michigan Avenue

Chicago police officials reported a teenage shoplifting gang stole over $5,000 worth of merchandise from stores located on Michigan Avenue. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, five girls and six boys took clothes from AX Armani Exchange, The North Face, and Filene's Basement before running off. Law enforcement officers caught the teens on East Pearson and immediately arrested them.

Similar shoplifting incidents have occurred during the last two weeks on Michigan Avenue as groups of teenagers attempted to overwhelm store employees with their large posse as they stole items from various retailers.

Teen Eric Carson Sentenced to 26 Years In Prison For Murder

The Chicago Breaking News reported Eric Carson, 17, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder after being charged for beating Derrion Albert, a sophomore at Fenger High School, to death in 2009. The awful event was also videotaped, showing Carson hitting Albert on the back of the head with a 4-foot-long board and a few other teens following suit and attacking the victim.

Authorities arrested Carson, who was 16-years-old at the time, several days after the incident and have kept him under police custody. This week, Chicago Criminal Court Judge Nicholas Ford sentenced Carson to 26 years in jail in accordance with an agreement made with prosecutors.

Richard Lyons Allegedly Killed His 8-year-old Daughter

Richard L. Lyons, 42, was ordered to be held with no bond at a court hearing after prosecutors charged him with killing his 8-year-old daughter Mya in 2008. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Lyons allegedly hit his daughter with a lockbox, stabbed her 30 times in his van, and then took her to the hospital in the same vehicle claiming "she may have been bitten by a dog."

Mya was dead upon arrival when Lyons brought her to the hospital. Prosecutors said the 8-year-old had 30 stab wounds in her neck, upper back, and stomach along with additional abrasions and multiple skull fractures.

Kathyrn Vail-Wesley Sentenced To Sex Offender Probation

Kathryn Vail-Wesley, 24, was indicted on several counts of sexual assault and aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly having sex with one of her students, who was then 17-years-old, in 2008. She pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse after admitting that she did have sexual relations with the teen.

The former Near West Side Christian high school teacher was then sentenced to 24 months of sex offender probation, according to Chicago Breaking News. State’s attorney spokesperson Tandra Simonton stated Vail-Wesley, who had worked as a world religions teacher, had sex with the student at her apartment and inside the Chicago Hope Academy.

Illinois State Senate Votes To Ban Death Penalty

Chicago locals may have heard about the state Senate action approving the ban on the death penalty. The decision, which had a Senate vote of 32-25, has potentially made Illinois the first state to do away with capital punishment since 2009. The measure has now been sent to Governor Pat Quinn so that he may sign the bill.

No criminal has been executed in Illinois for over ten years, after government officials found that a number of the individuals who were placed on Death Row were actually innocent, according to Reuters. The exposure led former Illinois Governor George Ryan to implement a moratorium or suspension of capital punishment in 2000.

Man And Dog Rescue Victim From Sexual Assault Attack

Chicago authorities arrested Larry E. Smith, 28, after an unnamed good Samaritan and his canine sidekick prevented Smithfrom sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

According to the Chicago-Sun Times, the 14-year-old had gotten off the bus on Diversey Avenue and was walking home when she noticed she was being followed by a man. Police said Smith immediately ran after the girl and attacked her as she desperately ran up the stairs to her apartment building. The building's owner said she heard the 14-year-old scream and saw Smith trying to kiss her. As soon as Smith tried to flee, however, he was quickly confronted by the rescuer and his Great Dane, Scooby.

Spilled Drink Sets Off Hijack Alert In United Airlines Plane

A United Airlines spokesperson Rahsaan Johnson recently talked about a series of events that led to an unintended alert that a plane traveling to Frankfurt, Germany from Chicago was being hijacked. Reuters reported a cockpit crew member had spilled a drink on the aircraft’s equipment during a period of light turbulence.

The spilled beverage subsequently triggered some issues for the plane’s communication devices. One of the plane’s radio systems was damaged, and the pilot chose to land the plane early instead of continuing to fly overseas. However, the hijack alert was accidentally set off while the crew adjusted the transponder to the frequency necessary to inform air traffic control about the plane’s communication problems.

Police Find Tanya Shannon's Missing Body

La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton announced that the search for Tanya Shannon's body has finally ended, according to the News Tribune. Shannon had been missing since December 4, after her and her husband, Dale Shannon, apparently crashed their vehicle on their way home from a party. Authorities recently found her body one and a half miles from the scene of the accident, southeast of the Brookfield Township.

According to the La Salle County Sheriff's Office, police found Dale dead behind the wheel and believed Tanya had walked away from the scene of the accident. They began to investigate the case further after finding footprints heading away from the automobile and a lost slipper near the scene. Nearly 60 people helped searched for Tanya Shannon.

A trucker from Racine, Wisconsin who was convicted of murdering a fellow trucker with a knife in what police described as a "road rage" incident was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The 49-year-old, who had faced a 60-year sentence, will have to serve the entire 25 years without the chance of parole.

David Seddon and Alan Lauritzen began arguing over their CB radios on January 15 before they tried cutting each other off as they traveled along the Edens Expy. Then they stopped on the shoulder of the highway near Northfield, which is when David Seddon stabbed the other trucker to death.

The trial that led to his conviction took just two days in a Skokie courtroom.