Saturday, May 18, 2013
A lawsuit against an imprisoned preacher from Crete and an Indiana megachurch topped the week's court news.
A former megachurch preacher sentenced to 12 years in federal prison in March for carrying on a sexual relationship with a teenage member of his congregation was sued in Will County court. In addition to preacher Jack Schaap, 55, of Crete, the First Baptist Church of Hammond was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The parents of a teenage girl Schaap had sex with while he was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond filed the lawsuit. The suit identifies the parents as "John Doe and Mary Doe," and the teen as "Jane Doe." The suit gives Jane Doe's date of birth as June 27, 1995. Here's what else was going on at the area's courthouses: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
A Caribbean music record company owner has a drug dog's lack of punctuality to thank for getting him out of a felony pot charge, but he still couldn't get his marijuana back.
Martin Scott was looking at a possible 30-year prison sentence after a police dog found pot in the trunk of his car back in September 2011. But a Cook County judge decided this week that the 41 minutes a state trooper made Scott wait for the dog to show up was too long, and ruled that the marijuana could not be used as evidence against him. Without that evidence, prosecutors decided to drop the case. Scott, 52, said he is the owner of Kingston, Jamaica, based UIM Records. He also said he obtained his marijuana legally in California and asked if he could have it back. He was refused. Scott left the Markham courthouse a happy—and free—man, and strolled away puffing on his electronic cigarette. Not too many other people written about last …
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Two men were found unfit to face criminal charges this week.
Not one, but two men were found unfit to face criminal charges this week. For the second time in a month, Mark Lewis, 53, was deemed unfit to stand trial for the murder of his sister, who was found beaten to death in her Naperville home in June 2011. Lewis wants to act as his own attorney if the murder case ever makes it to trial. Also wanting to act as his own attorney—and deemed unfit to face criminal charges—was 40-year-old Jason Chance of downstate Lewiston. Chance already did prison time for menacing Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow through Facebook. According to a criminal complaint, Chance threatened to rape and kill the county's top prosecutor. After his release, Chance allegedly made harassing telephone calls to a judge…
Saturday, April 20, 2013
A former Plainfield North gym teacher pleaded guilty to meeting a teen for sex. And that was just one of the things going on in court this week.
More than two years after the police caught her in a car with a half-dressed student from the high school where she was a teacher, Ashley Blumenshine copped a plea. Blumenshine, a 30-year-old former Plainfield North gym teacher, will have to do 11 days in jail. She will also spend two years on sex offender probation and 10 yeas on the Illinois sex offender registry. She tearfully apologized before she was taken into custody to start doing her time. Let's look at what else was going on in the area's courthouses this past week: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
One of the four charged in the Nightmare on Hickory Street double murder case is getting $5,000 from the county for an expert witness.
One of the four young people charged with the brutal Nightmare on Hickory Street double murder case has been represented by no less than three private attorneys since she was arrested, but is now getting $5,000 to hire an expert witness. One of the three lawyers working for 18-year-old Bethany McKee of Shorewood convinced Judge Gerald Kinney that the county should cover the cost of a doctor to observe DNA testing. Prosecutors argued that McKee is being represented by private attorneys, but one of her lawyers, Neil Patel, countered that no one has established that he or his colleagues are actually getting paid. Kinney capped the county's payout at $5,000, and if McKee's lawyers want more money, they will have to appear before him and make …
Saturday, April 6, 2013
A New Lenox man spoke of his "horrific" ordeal in the county jail after he was arrested for a murder someone else was wanted for.
We started the week off by talking with the New Lenox man jailed for two weeks for a murder allegedly committed by someone else with the same name. Pedro Hernandez, 67, said his time in the Will County jail was "horrific," and that he's looking for a lawyer to talk to about filing a lawsuit. But Hernandez's ordeal was just one of the things going on last week. There was also: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Drew Peterson is either getting a new trial or he's heading to prison.
On Tuesday, the attorneys for Drew Peterson will make a final push to keep him out of prison by securing a new murder trial. Will County Judge Edward Burmila has set aside two days for the hearing, but some involved predict it will last much longer. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Burmila decides against calling for a new trial, he plans to head straight for sentencing. During the week that just ended, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow took steps to avoid having to testify at Peterson's hearing. Glasgow filed court papers claiming that, as a prosecutor, special steps must be taken to force him to testify. He maintains Peterson's attorneys have failed to take those steps. That is just one of many issues to be addressed …
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Drew Peterson was in court last week trying to get a new trial, and there were a few other people with cases too.
Drew Peterson was brought into a courtroom packed with reporters and had a hearing to set the date for another hearing to see if he can have a do-over of his murder trial. That was the biggest thing going on at the Will County Courthouse last week, but it wasn't the only thing. Let's look at what else was going on in the week that was:
Saturday, December 22, 2012
The case of a Tinley Park man who allegedly beat his wife to death with a weightlifting bar was just one of the thing's going on at the Will County Courthouse this week.
The Tinley Park man charged with beating his wife to death with a weightlifting bar had his bond set at $5 million. And if Bahaa Sam, 47, comes up with $500,000 cash he needs to secure his release, he must turn in both his American and Egyptian passports, Will County Judge Roger Rickmon ordered at Sam's bond hearing Thursday. Sam allegedly bludgeoned his wife with a weightlifting bar after they argued over his lack of employment. Sam's wife, 38-year-old Nermeen Gamal Sam, had bitten her husband's finger when he blocked her from leaving the house, police said. Sam then murdered his wife in front of their 4-year-old son, police and prosecutors said. But that wasn't the only thing going on at the Joliet courthouse, although it may have been …
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Joel Brodsky bearing the brunt of the blown Drew Peterson murder defense in a Thursday filing was one of many interesting things going on at the Joliet courthouse this past week.
When a jury finds you guilty of killing your wife, it's safe to say you might have some image problems. But in the aftermath of the Drew Peterson murder trial, defense attorney Joel Brodsky may be looking worse than anyone. First there was his very public feud with co-counsel Steve Greenberg. Then Brodsky voluntarily withdrew (or was he discharged?) from the Peterson defense team. And once he was gone, the five lawyers still representing Peterson blamed Brodsky for blowing the case and pointed out that entering into a publicity contract with a suspected wife-killer could be viewed as unsound legal strategy. And then on Thursday, Greenberg got his latest last word in with a devastating, 32-page court filing that paints Brodsky as a a …