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March 2011 Archives

Robbery Victim In Chicago Calls Police While Locked In Car Trunk

In a recent robbery and kidnapping case, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a 28-year-old man from Chicago contacted police on his cell phone as he was held hostage in his own car and taken to an unknown destination. The victim told authorities that the perpetrator had locked him in the trunk and was driving the vehicle.

The 28-year-old said he had given an acquaintance a ride in his black Lexus from Des Plaines to an apartment building in Elgin when a man suddenly got into the automobile almost 15 minutes after the first man left. The robber then held the victim at gunpoint, stole $400 to $500, and ordered him to get into the car trunk "if you want to live."

Lukasz Strama Arrested For Trespassing Into Apartment by Chain Saw

Police officials reported that a man wielding a chain saw had broken into the Deerfield apartment of an upstairs neighbor last week. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 28-year-old Deerfield local Lukasz W. Strama was able to enter the woman’s apartment by allegedly using the chain saw to hack through door. However, police reported no one was injured from the incident.

The resident told authorities that she initially thought some landscapers were working when she heard the loud clamoring coming from outside her door that afternoon. “She said the noise continued to get closer and closer,” authorities reported. “When she went to look and see where the noise was coming from, she observed a chain saw coming through her front door.”

Police Alert Warns Businesses About Burglaries On Madison Street

Authorities have issued a police alert warning businesses on Madison Street in Chicago's West Side about several burglaries that have taken place between 1500 West and 3100 West. Chicago Breaking News reported that an unidentified man who has been seen riding a bicycle could likely be the culprit for the recent thefts.

Law enforcement officials said the series of burglaries started on February 5 during the afternoon, when a tavern or liquor store on West Madison Street was broken into. According to the police alert, the latest incident happened on March 16.

Lake County Jury Finds Marni Yang Guilty Of Shooting Rhoni Reuter

A Lake County jury recently convicted 43-year-old Marni Yang of shooting Deerfield local Rhoni Reuter, the pregnant woman Yang allegedly thought of as a romantic rival for Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle's affection. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, jurors deliberated for almost 4 hours before they found Yang guilty of first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child.

Prosecutors said Yang had gunned down Reuter, 42, on October 2007 while she was almost seven months pregnant with a daughter fathered by Gayle. They contended that an "obsessed" Yang had been plotting the act for months because she viewed Reuters as competition, and Gayle acknowledged that he had a brief and intermittent sexual relationship with Yang.

Sergiu Muresan Pleads Guilty To Animal Cruelty Charge

Twenty-six-year-old West Side local Sergiu E. Muresan recently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge involving animal cruelty in Wheaton's DuPage County Court. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, an unnamed witness had caught Muresan throwing a puppy out of his car window and into traffic in Elmhurst last December.

The witness told police officials that Muresan had tossed the dog at the intersection of North Avenue and Route 83 while he was stopped in traffic. Investigators said Muresan did not even own the dog, a 45-pound male mixed breed named Bentley.

Wayne Smith Charged With Raping Woman He Met On Facebook

Far South Side barber Wayne Smith, 25, allegedly raped a 28-year-old woman he had met on Facebook, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He was also recently charged with sexually assaulting another victim he connected with two years ago through the famous social networking website.

A police report said the woman in the first attack, which occurred in 2009, had identified Smith in a line-up last March, but he was never prosecuted because there was not enough physical evidence to support her claim. However, the case was reopened after Smith was accused of raping another woman in his home last month.

Governor Pat Quinn Signs Legislation Banning Death Penalty

The Chicago Tribune reported Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a bill banning the death penalty in Illinois and converting the sentences of 15 death row convicts to life without parole. He signed the measure during a private ceremony held in his office in Capitol Hill and said it was "the right, just thing to abolish the death penalty."

"Since our experience has shown that there is no way to design a perfect death penalty system, free from the numerous flaws that can lead to wrongful convictions or discriminatory treatment, I have concluded that the proper course of action is to abolish it," Quinn wrote when signing the statement. "With our broken system, we cannot ensure justice is achieved in every case."

Karen Smith Charged with Financial Exploitation of Her Uncle

Karen Smith, 62, from South Side was accused of taking all the money and valuables of her 68-year-old uncle, Irvin Johnson, after he recently suffered congestive heart failure. Relatives said Smith was designated to help Johnson recover from his heart problems but ended up allegedly stealing from him over a 30-day period.

Judge Ramon Ocasio III charged Smith with unlawful financial exploitation of the elderly and ordered her held on $50,000 cash bail, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Cook County prosecutors said Smith had stolen Johnson's jewelry and television set along with the deed to her uncle's house, which she placed under her daughter's name.

Judge Says Marni Yang Can't Get Her Hair Done Before Trial

Before the murder trial of Marni Yang could begin jury selection, the defendant's lawyers sought to have the proceedings put on hold so that their client could get her hair cut and colored. Unfortunately for Yang, Chicago Judge Christopher Stride denied the request, leaving her with no other choice but to keep hair partially pulled back in a ponytail.

Yang was charged with first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child in March 2009 after she allegedly shot and killed Rhoni Reuter in October 2007, according to the Chicago Tribune. Prosecutors alleged that Yang viewed Reuter, who was 7 months pregnant when she was murdered, as an enemy competing for the affection of former Chicago Bears football player Shaun Gayle.

Timothy Hercog Charged With Threatening To Kill Ald. Ed Burke

South Side resident Timothy J. Hercog, 48, was recently ordered to be held on $25,000 bail after he allegedly threatened to kill 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. Cook County Prosecutors said Hercog had initially left three messages at Burke's ward office last week, complaining about sidewalks that needed repairs.

But one of the messages Hercog left was found to be more disturbing than the rest, according to Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti.