The Chicago Criminal Law Blog - Find a Chicago Criminal Attorney

March 2012 Archives

Shalimar Santiago, a reputed gang member, was sentenced on Wednesday to 54 years in prison for ramming a carload of teens on Chicago’s West Side, killing an 18-year-old college student in the process. He apparently believed the car belonged to rival gang members, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Santiago claimed that the incident was merely a traffic accident and not a murder. However, Judge Joseph M. Claps did not agree, stating that the incident was “something far more nefarious than a tragic accident.”

John Harris, Rod Blagojevich's former chief of staff, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 days in prison for his role in the former governor's bid to sell the U.S. Senate seat left vacate by President Obama's election. The sentence is possibly the shortest prison term ever imposed in a Chicago public corruption case, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Harris, who served as Blagojevich's chief of staff for three years, was arrested at the same time as Blagojevich in 2008. While the disgraced former governor received a 14-year sentence, Harris escaped with a proverbial slap on the wrist.

Child Pornography Found on Phone of Man Who Stalked Girl

Last year, a Park Forest man was arrested in connection with the stalking of two pre-teen girls. The 57-year-old man now faces charges of possessing child pornography, as he turned himself in to police last week, reports Trib Local.

James Shaver is being charged with a Class 3 Felony in connection with the child pornography charges after a forensic exam of his cellphone uncovered images of child pornography. He was arrested in March 2011 for stalking the girls.

Roaches Found in Little Village Home Where Baby Died

Cockroaches, feces and rotten food — that’s what police found when they went to visit a Little Village home earlier this week, reports The Chicago Tribune. A couple has been placed under arrest for misdemeanor child endangerment after police visited their apartment as part of an investigation into the death of the couple’s six-month-old son.

Esmeralda Romero, 23, and Melito Perez, 27, have not been charged in the infant’s death but have left several questions for child welfare authorities regarding the upkeep of their home, where three other children also lived. The other children were found with bug bites on their bodies and have been removed from the home, sent to live with relatives. Indeed, their home was deemed not sanitary, as police found an infestation of roaches and flying insects, feces smeared on the floor and a lack of food and bedding. Video footage from Fox Chicago News gives a glimpse of some of the infestation.

Trayvon Martin Death: Do Illinois 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Exist?

What would have happened if Trayvon Martin had been shot in Chicago? Are there Illinois "stand your ground" laws, just like there are in Florida?

For the uninitiated, let's debrief. Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old boy, was shot in Florida by self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. Martin was on his way home from the convenience store and was unarmed. Zimmerman claimed that Martin looked suspicious and had followed Martin, eventually confronting him. The story is unclear from that point on as evidence is still emerging, but what is clear is that Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest, killing him.

Six Year Old Girl Killed in Chicago's Weekend of Gang Violence

Chicago is getting over one bloody weekend, reports The Chicago Tribune.

According to information gathered by The Tribune, there were at least 49 people wounded or killed in shootings between 5 p.m. on March 16 to 6 a.m. on March 19. Ten people were reportedly killed, including a six year old girl.

Shootout at Beauty Store on West Side Leaves 4 Injured

A Wednesday evening shootout in the neighborhood of Austin on the West Side has left four people wounded, reports The Chicago Tribune. The shootout came after police responded to a robbery at the beauty supply store on the 5100 block of West Lake Street.

Three of the injured were masked bandits and one was a store clerk. According to a police spokesperson, the injured clerk had been firing at the robbers and it was unclear whether the clerk was injured as a result of police fire.

Cops Nab Cockfighting Trainers, Seize 750 Roosters in Homer Glen

Two men from Joliet were arrested on Tuesday on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals after Will County Sheriff’s Police uncovered a cockfighting training center with 750 roosters.

The two men, Gerardo Ortiz and Ramiro Marin, are being held at the Will County Adult Detention Facility, reports The Chicago Tribune.

While police found no evidence of cockfighting at the property, located on the 14800 block of West Bruce Road in Homer Glen, they did find “evidence of extensive training and grooming.”

Angry Woman, Patricia Washington, Throws Caustic Liquid on Bus Driver

An angry Chicago woman is in custody after she threw a caustic liquid in the face of a bus driver.

Patricia Washington , a passenger on a CTA bus, has been held on charges of aggravated battery to a transit employee after a Friday evening attack on a CTA bus driver, reports the Sun-Times Media Wire.

Gangster Punches Puppy in the Eyes to Stop Barking

An angry gang member punched his puppy in the eyes to make it stay quiet, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Cops responded to a call reporting animal abuse on West Hollywood Avenue in Edgewater Beach on Wednesday.

At the time police arrived, they found a six month old brown puppy in the corner, cowering in fear. When asked what was wrong with the puppy, the man, 32-year-old Taj Oatis, told the officers that he had punched the puppy in the eyes because the puppy would not stop barking.

FBI Arrests Chicago 'Hacktivist' in International Hacking Arrests

Hacking's not just for harmless computer geeks anymore. There are international gangs of hackers out there.

And the FBI just nailed six of these bad boys. This sweep also includes one such dreadlock sporting twenty-seven-year-old Chicago bad boy named Jeremy Hammond.

Hammond was arrested on March 5 in Chicago on charges of crimes related to high-profile cyber attacks, reports the Chicago Tribune. The hack-attacks reportedly targeted major corporations and government entities.

Man Sentenced for Kicking Cat Like a Football

"It's just a cat" is usually not a good defense to an animal cruelty charge. A Chicago man, Percy Love, was arresting for kicking his cat like a football after officers watched him take a running start and punt a black cat 15-18 feet in the air.

A Cook County judge sentenced Love to 90 days in jail for the crime. Allegedly, at the time of arrest, Love offered the defense that he owned the poor cat, that the animal was "just a cat," and that the cat was used to this type of behavior, as justifications for the crime, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

George Sabie Convicted of Juvenile Center Sexual Assault

There's nothing new about sexual predators finding positions where they will have authority over youths. Most famously, Jerry Sandusky is facing multiple charges of sexually assaulting several boys at Penn State as he ran a charitable foundation that was supposed to help many of his young alleged victims.

But on a smaller scale, teachers, coaches, and religious leaders are also being charged with abusing children under their care. Now you can add juvenile detention center employee to that list. George Sabie, a 55-year-old worker at the Illinois Youth Center in Joliet, was convicted this week of a juvenile center sexual assault.