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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

No Criminal Charges Filed in Lake County Jail Death

Posted on in Criminal Defense

According to an article in the April 10, 2012 edition of the Chicago Sun Times, a Lake County jail inmate passed away on March 3 from spinal injuries received during an altercation occurring within the jail. Although the death of 51-year-old Eugene Gruber has been officially ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, the Lake County's state attorney has requested a review of the initial investigation conducted jail authorities.

In addition to spinal injuries, Mr. Gruber also suffered from bronchial pneumonia, dilated cardiomyopathy and paraplegia, all of which contributed to his death. Supplementary information reports state that Gruber sustained his injuries on or around October 31 and died on March 3 while being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital. An autopsy performed on March 4 resulted in inconclusive findings, according to the medical examiner's office.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigations Division of Lake County's state's attorney office examined videotape, documents and conducted interviews regarding Gruber's death and decided there was not enough evidence to warrant pressing criminal charges against inmates or jailhouse authorities.

However, Mr. Gruber's sister, Eileen Siwula, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in protest of the way her brother died and of the manner in which the death was handled by the Lake County jail. She claims that jailhouse officers pepper sprayed and beat her brother on the night of his arrest, causing the injuries of which he later died despite jail medical personnel being available to help her brother. In addition, the chief of the Special Investigations Division has asked that a comprehensive review of the investigation as well as of the medical examiner's findings by the state attorney's appellate prosecutor's office be initiated.

If prosecutors would have decided to press charges related to Mr. Gruber's death, the accused would require the services of a top Lake County, Illinois criminal defense attorney. In particular, if the jailhouse personnel were to face charges, this case would require the expertise of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.   

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