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July 2011 Archives

The Drew Peterson trial will soon resume after an appeals court upheld a trial court's decision to bar eight hearsay statements. The trial of Peterson, who is accused of murdering his wife Kathleen Savio, has been stalled for more than a year as the higher court wrestled with the issue of whether to allow the jury to hear the hearsay statements, reports the Chicago Tribune.

According to the Tribune, a divided appellate court ruled that prosecutors missed the appeal deadline when they sought to overturn the trial court's decision barring the hearsay statements. The trial court excluded these statements citing unreliability.

Rod Blagojevich Trial and Motion for New Trial

The Rod Blagojevich trial will not end. The former Illinois governor has just filed a motion for new trial after he was found guilty on corruption charges last month.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Blagojevich's motion argues that the federal judge who heard his case, Judge James Zagel, ruled too often for prosecutors and denied the former governor the opportunity to properly defend himself. The motion seeks to set aside the convictions and to grant Blagojecvich a new trial.

City Council Considering Earlier Chicago Curfew for Kids

The City Council is considering a revision to Chicago curfew laws to set an earlier curfew for children under the age of 12. The City Council is set to vote on the proposed change this week that would require that kids under 12 to be home by 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 p.m. on weekends. Children 12 and over will continue to follow the existing curfew of 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 p.m. on weekends.

Currently, Chicago curfew laws do not distinguish children under the age of 12 from children between the ages of 12 and 17. Instead, all minors are required to follow the 10:00 p.m./11:00 p.m. curfew mentioned above.

Seventy-one year old Jack McCullough has agreed to return to Illinois to face the kidnapping and murder charges of a seven-year old girl in 1957. This 54-year old case may prompt one to ask -- just what is the statute of limitations in Illinois?

According to CBS, McCullough is accused of killing seven-year old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, a town 50 miles west of Chicago, reports CBS. Ridulph's friend told authorities at the time that Ridulph had disappeared with a man who looked like McCullough. When the girl's body was later discovered, an 18-year old McCullough was questioned about the killing. McCullough offered an alibi for the crime and he was not charged at that time.

Twenty-year-old Max Fleck called police to report stolen marijuana. When police arrived, they found more pot, and arrested Fleck for violating Illinois marijuana law.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Fleck, from Lincoln Park, and a 19-year-old man called police to report that they had two pounds of marijuana stolen from them. The unidentified 19-year-old says that he was hit in the head with a bottle and cut during the robbery, and Fleck says that he was also punched.

However, it appears that the robbers did not get all of the weed.

Carolyn Towns Gets 12 Years in Burr Oak Cemetery Scandal

Former Burr Oak Cemetery director Carolyn Towns was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to a variety of crimes including dismembering a human body, theft from a place of worship, and desecration of human remains.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Towns' sentencing comes almost exactly two years after the grave reselling scandal was discovered at the historic black burial grounds.

In the scandal, Towns was accused of conning the families of recently deceased persons and selling them already-occupied graves. Towns was accused of digging up occupied plots and either dumping the remains of the existing grave into a rubbish pile or "double stacking" the grave.

Eighteen-year-old Emmett DeFrisco has been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after accidentally setting off the Millennium Park bomb scare over the weekend.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, DeFrisco and several hundred science-fiction fans attended a Soycon convention in downtown Chicago. Described as “The Largest Cosplay Gathering of the Midwest,” DeFrisco was among 250 young people who met prior to the convention at Buckingham Fountain in Millennium Park to pose for photos in their comic book, fantasy, and anime costumes.

Dressed as Dr. Who, DeFrisco wore the outfit of the time-travelling doctor and carried around two bricks tied with duct tape as an apparent prop, reports the Sun-Times.

A Chicago man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after killing 17-year old Kevin Kennelly in a fight — leading one to ask what is involuntary manslaughter, how is the definition of involuntary manslaughter different from murder, and why was the killer not charged with murder?

According to the Chicago Tribune, Kennelly was involved in a Fourth of July brawl at an Indiana beach. Kennelly, who is from Chicago, was badly beaten and his unconscious body was found on the beach.

Eighteen-year old James Malecek, also from Chicago, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly beating Kennelly to death.

Chicago July 4th Murders: Holiday Weekend, Deadly Weekend

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that there were six Chicago July 4th murders in a spate of shootings over the deadly holiday weekend.

In the six murders, the Sun-Times writes that all the victims were young men ranging in age from 17 to 25. Among those killed were:

  • David Cardine, 21, who was shot to death inside his van at the 1400 block of South Independence Boulevard following a dispute between two neighbors
  • Jose Moldonado, 22, who was shot in the Little Village neighborhood while crossing the street following an argument with a passing driver
  • Martel Field, 17, who was shot as he was walking nearby his Far South Side Roseland home.

The Chicago police are still investigating the murders and it is still not known what crimes the killers will be charged with.