January 2012 News: The Chicago Criminal Law Blog

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January 2012 Archives

Ex-UIC Soccer Player, Volunteer Coach Charged with Brutal Rape

A former soccer player and volunteer coach at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been charged with criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint in the rape of a 26-year-old woman, reports ABC 7 News.

Twenty-five-year-old Michael Griffin is accused of raping a woman he met at a bar several times in her Bucktown apartment, threatening to kill her and then choking her until she was unconscious, according to prosecutors.

Woman Charged with First-Degree Murder in Husband's Stabbing Death

Englewood resident Michela L. Johnson has been charged with first-degree murder for the stabbing death of her husband on Monday, reports ABC7 News.

Her husband, Untre Johnson, reportedly died on Monday at John J. Stroger Jr. Hospital as a result of a severe stab wound to the back. Police believe Michela stabbed him during a domestic dispute earlier that day at her residence, according to ABC7.

Teens Charged with Hate Crime; Beat Black Teen Dating Cousin?

Three white teenagers were charged with a hate crime for the alleged beating of a black teenager because he was dating one of their cousins, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Eighteen-year-old Matthew Herrmann and two other minors are accused of beating 17-year-old Joshua Merritt, putting a noose around his neck, yelling racial epithets at him, and holding him at knife-point in December.

Man Gets 40 Years for Avril Lavigne Tickets Murder of Mom

Singer Avril Lavigne may have been a platinum-selling pop star in the early 2000s, but it’s not complicated - killing someone over Avril Lavigne tickets will land you in jail for a very long time.

Robert Lyons, the Carol Stream resident convicted of killing his mother over a botched buy of Avril Lavigne concert tickets, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Monday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Teens Charged in Bridgeport Beating, Deputy's Son as Adult

Seven teenagers have been charged for the brutal Bridgeport beating of a 17-year-old high school student that was taped and posted on YouTube, reports the Chicago Tribune.

One of the defendants, 17-year-old Raymond Palomino, will reportedly be charged as an adult for robbery and aggravated battery, and his bail was set at $100,000. He is reportedly the son of Michael Palomino, a Cook County sheriff's deputy.

Teens Questioned in Brutal Bridgeport Beating Caught on YouTube

Six teens are being questioned in connection with the brutal Bridgeport beating of a 17-year-old boy on Sunday, reports CBS Chicago. The beating was reportedly captured on video and posted on YouTube, the popular video-sharing site.

The video graphically portrays the boys kicking, punching and dragging the helpless teen around a snowy alleyway while yelling racial slurs at him. One boy can be heard saying to the victim, who appeared to be of Asian descent: “Am I speaking Chinese to you, n——?” However, authorities said the beating did not appear to be racially motivated. You can watch the video here, but it does contain scenes of graphic violence, racial slurs and profanity:

Sexual Assault Investigation of Cubs' Starlin Castro Begins

The investigations have begun into allegations that Chicago Cubs' shortstop Starlin Castro sexually assaulted a woman three months ago, reports CBS Chicago.

Castro flew into Chicago from the Dominican Republic on Wednesday; days after news of the sexual assault allegations hit the mainstream media. Sources told CBS he has been interviewed or will be interviewed soon by detectives.

Latin Kings Gang Leader Augustin Zambrano Gets 60 Year Sentence

The alleged leader of the Latin Kings gang, reportedly one of the largest street gangs in the United States, was sentenced to the maximum punishment he could receive in prison on Wednesday, reports WGNtv.

Augustin Zambrano received the hefty, 60-year prison sentence for his convictions on several federal charges - including racketeering, extortion and assault - in August. The charges were connected to the Latin Kings' alleged drug-dealing operation.

O'Hare Baggage Handler Accused of Stealing Cop's Gun from Luggage

Luggage theft has been a problem for airports across the country, and Chicago's O'Hare Airport is no different. This time, however, the suspected thief targeted the wrong victim.

O'Hare Airport baggage handler Abdoulaye Barry is accused of stealing a Chicago police officer's gun from his checked luggage, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chuck Dai, Owner of Building that Killed Firefighters, in Court

Chuck Dai, the accused owner of an abandoned South Side commercial laundry building, made his first court appearance exactly one year after being charged for criminal contempt in the death of two Chicago firefighters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His bail was set at $50,000.

The firefighters, Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer, were killed in December 2010 after responding to a fire in Dai's building. Dai is accused of failing to secure the building and repair the roof despite a court order, which led to the roof's collapse and the firefighters' deaths.

Career Criminal Arrested For Gouging Out Uncle's Eyes

Indian political and spiritual leader, Mahatma Ghandi, once stated: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." For career criminal Exulam I. Holman, that same idea could also land him in jail.

Holman was arrested for allegedly trying to gouge out his uncle's eyes while the two men fought over a remote control on New Year's Eve, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.