Court Watch: Man Accused in Fatal DUI May Take Plea Deal
Also, a Chicago Heights man's arraignment is set for first-degree murder charges of his live-in girlfriend.
The Southland's major criminal cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
HOMEWOOD - 'Porn Truck' Driver Showing Progress
It appears Steven D. Dutton, the man who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for trying to lure a teenage girl into a porn-laden truck last year, is showing progress, according to a Cook County judge.
Judge Thomas J. O'Hara has been overseeing Dutton's one year of court supervision, which will be concluded in November if all continues to go well.
OAK LAWN - Arraignment Set for Man Charged With Girlfriend's Murder
George Kleopa was back in a Markham courtroom this week before Cook County Judge Thomas J. Carroll. An Aug. 28 date has been set for his arraignment on first-degree murder charges. Kleopa is accused of shooting Michele Peters, his live-in girlfriend and the mother of his two young children on March 6.
ORLAND PARK - Plea Agreement Possible for Man Charged in Fatal DUI
A plea agreement may be in the works for Orland Park resident Nicholas Sord, who was charged with reckless homicide in a DUI accident on New Year's Eve more than two years ago.
Sord, 24, was close to three times over the blood-alcohol limit on New Year’s Day 2010 when he lost control of his SUV near 147th Street and Oak Park Avenue, killing 20-year-old Jessica Mejia of New Lenox, according to police.
At a hearing Thursday, Aug. 16, attorneys for Sord asked Judge Frank G. Zelezinski for a "402 conference," which is listed by the Cook County Guide to the Criminal Justice System as a plea bargaining tool. The judge told Sord in court that he can accept or reject a recommended sentence, but if he moves forward with a trial, he isn't necessarily entitled to a new judge.
ORLAND PARK - Man Accused of Stalking, Child Porn Gets Continuance
James Shaver, 58, who faces felony charges of stalking, aggravated possession of child pornography and possession of child pornography appeared briefly in court. He is scheduled to be back in Judge John J. Hynes court in Bridgeview on Sept. 13.
ORLAND PARK - Alleged BB Gun Carjacker Gets Status Hearing
The felony aggravated vehicular hijacking case against Jonathan Sarolas, the 23-year-old man accused of carjacking an Orland Park restaurant employee with a BB gun, is moving forward. Sarolas, who remains in custody, is set to be back in court on Sept. 17 for his next status hearing.
ORLAND PARK - Man Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal DUI Crash
Matthew Senica, 25, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of aggravated DUI and one count of reckless homicide for his alleged role in an accident that took the life of a nurse on her way to work.
Senica entered his plea in the Bridgeview courtroom of Judge Carmen K. Aguilar. He is scheduled to be back in court on Sept. 25.
TINLEY PARK - Ashford House 5 Lawyers Call Arrest 'Invalid'
Attorneys representing five men who were accused in May of an attack at a Tinley Park restaurant said Tuesday morning that they believe the traffic stop leading to the group's arrest was illegal.
They filed a motion to suppress evidence gathered during that stop, in which Indiana men John Tucker, 26; Cody Sutherlin, 23; Dylan Sutherlin, 20; Alex Stuck, 22; and Jason Sutherlin, 33; were arrested.
TINLEY PARK - State Won't Call Key Witness in Animal Abuse Trial
Prosecutors said that they will not be calling former Cook County Sheriff's Office employee Larry Draus to testify against Dawn Hamill, who is charged with cruelty and neglect.
However, Hamill's defense attorney may subpoena Draus. Hamill, 43, is charged in connection with conditions discovered in a Feb. 11, 2011, raid of Tinley Park's Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.
TINLEY PARK - Man Charged with Carjacking Elderly Woman Gets Court Date for Next Month
A status hearing for Michael Kroll, 24, of Orland Park is set for Sept. 21 in Bridgeview. Kroll was arrested by Tinley Park police after he and another man allegedly threatened to shoot a woman in her 90s — though they didn’t show a gun — and escaped with her car and her purse.
New Lenox - No Mistrial in Coma Beating Case
A judge ruled has missing photos are a moot point in the trial of Joseph Messina, 24, of New Lenox, charged with punching a Joliet resident into a coma outside of a Mokena bar in 2009. Messina is accused of punching a Joliet man to the ground in a bar fight and knocking his head against the pavement.
A Frankfort man who brandished a knife and a crossbow during a fight over shirt-swapping at a Joliet bar last year was sentenced to two years and six months in jail Monday, Aug. 13, according to court records. Michael A. Jefferson, 33, of the 10800 block of Lincoln Highway, accepted a plea agreement of one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon
On the Docket Next Week
Judge will rule on whether elderly dementia patient in Orland Park sex abuse case will have to testify
Judge expected to rule on whether battery charges against star witness in hate crime case in Palos will be allowed at trial