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On April 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that any person who is suspected of driving under the influence cannot be automatically subjected to blood testing without a warrant and without consent.

It has been routine practice in the State of Illinois for an officer to transport a person suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to a hospital to submit to a blood draw for purposes of procuring evidence.  This situation almost always arises when the incident is accident related, and frequently occurs after there has been a refusal to submit to a breath test.

With the United States Supreme Court ruling in Missouri v. McNeely, No. 11-1425, it is even more important now for an individual to exercise his 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure and refuse to submit to such requested blood testing.


KerryValentine’s Day didn’t quite have a happy ending for one Skokie couple. Elaine Cook, 51, and her boyfriend of 10 months had gone out to dinner to celebrate the holiday, but got into an argument later in the evening back at the woman’s apartment.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Cook told her boyfriend to leave the apartment. He put his shoes on and began to leave, but in an effort to end the fight and make-up, he went back over to her and tried to kiss her and she bit off a large portion of his tongue.

He ran over to the sink, bleeding and Cook allegedly threw the tongue on the counter. The 47 year-old man put the tongue in a bag of ice and Cook’s roommate called 911.  Paramedics rushed the man to Evanston Hospital. Doctors were not able to reattach the tongue because of an inadequate blood supply.


MelissaA 24-year-old Dominican woman has claimed that Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol kidnapped and abused her. Marmol claims these accusations are false, and it is nothing more than an extortion attempt.

“The stuff that she says is not true, and I proved it,” he told the Chicago Tribune in this article. “It is about the money.  The first thing, when they went to the police, they asked about money right away.”

On October 28, Marmol gave the woman a ride home from a party. He states that although he had never spoken to her before, they grew up in the same hometown so he knew who she was.


ChristineIn the wake of the school shootings in Connecticut, people are in debate about gun issues on both sides. It seems more and more gun news appears by the week. The Second Amendment, where all citizens have the right to bear arms, seems to be in question over and over. Is it truly a right? Guns are not the problem, people who do not know how to handle their emotional and physical actions are to be blamed.

According to Yahoo! News, on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013, 65 year old suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes, a loner Vietnam veteran, boarded a school bus with children. He proceeded to shoot the driver four times with a 9mm gun. After that he took a 5 year old kindergarten boy hostage for almost a week in a bunker. FBI and law enforcement tried their best to negotiate with the suspect to get the boy out of harm ways and back home. Monday, February 04, 2013, after 24 hours of trying with the looks of the situation not going the way they wanted, the FBI invaded the bunker. Officials said stun or flash grenades were used in the operation. After the situations, Dykes was dead and the little boy, unharmed, was released and freed.

Everyone can feel the pain for the bus driver’s family, the other students on the bus, and the little boy and his family in Midland City, Alabama. Such horrific events occurring to our most innocent citizens will cause a lifetime of damage and repair.  Even in the community it will take time to heal. If you are in a situation where you need legal advice about a threat in your life, contact a criminal lawyer in Illinois who is a knowledgeable attorney.

KerryA new law has been signed by Gov. Pat Quinn which will allow illegal immigrants to get special driver's licenses. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office told the Chicago Tribune that it will take approximately ten months to finalize rules about who will qualify for the licenses and what documentation will be accepted. Once that’s done and employees are trained, the state will then begin issuing the licenses.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago, who attended the bill signing, which was held at Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago. Acevedo noted that the bill was not about driver’s licenses but was in fact about equality for everyone. The licenses will be referred to as temporary visitor driver's licenses. They will only be valid for three years from date of issue and will clearly be marked “not valid for identification”.

In order to qualify for one of these special licenses, an applicant must prove they have lived in Illinois for a least a year. They also cannot be eligible for a Social Security card. Acceptable documentation includes a copy of a lease, utility bills and a valid passport or consular identification card. Applicants will need to make appointments at one of the eight state-wide designated locations. There will be a wait time before the license is issued in order for the state to verify the application information and perform a facial recognition search against other databases.


dorm roomOver the course of two consecutive nights, a freshman at Loyola University allegedly raped two classmates.  19 year old Colin Kennedy, a California native, was arrested on Sunday January 27th at a neighborhood restaurant after a friend of the victims texted the Chicago Police Department with his description and location.

The first sexual assault occurred on January 13th after a night of drinking.  The 19 year old victim allowed Kennedy to stay in her room in Fordham Hall.  After being asleep for a while, the girl woke up to Kennedy sexually assaulting her but she was unable to stay awake and escape.  After the attack, Kennedy allegedly want to another friend’s room to talk about the event only wearing boxers.  The victim woke up naked after falling asleep fully clothed and noticed Kennedy’s clothes on her floor.  She told a friend and later informed the campus police.

The next night, a 20 year old girl was also allegedly sexually assaulted.  After a small gathering in her room, this girl allowed Kennedy to stay there because he couldn’t get into his own dorm room.  Again after the victim fell asleep, she woke up to Kennedy groping her.  Although she tried to fight him off, Kennedy raped her and then fell asleep.  She stayed awake the rest of the night and asked Kennedy to leave in the morning.  When she spoke to her friends about the incident, one turned out to be the first victim from the previous night.


KHarryCrim2ChargedA teen-aged boy was shot on January 16 outside a high school basketball game at Chicago State University. Two men face charges and no bail for the shooting. The Chicago Tribune reported a story on the shooting.

According to authorities, Michael McNabb, 32, and 29-year-old Stephen Gilbert were both charged with murder in the killing of the 17-year-old victim, Tyrone Lawson.

Lawson was shot around 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday night after Morgan Park had lost to Simeon High School. The shooting took place just outside the CSU gymnasium near 95th Street and King Drive.  Lawson was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.


inside palmer house hotelOver the weekend of January 11th, the former stepson of White Sox Vice President Kenny Williams was at a hotel downtown with his girlfriend.  Dedrick Williams is the son of Kenny’s former wife and has not been in communication with his stepfather for years.  Early on Saturday morning around 3 am, the two had a dispute and hit each other in their hotel room at the Palmer House Hotel.  When the Chicago Police arrived both Dedrick, 30, and his girlfriend, 30, admitted to hitting each other.

Williams’ girlfriend suffered a black eye, a swollen lip and bruises on her arms.  Williams’ injuries were not reported.  She claimed that her injuries were the result of Dedrick punching her in the face with a closed fist.  Both were offered medical attention at the scene but both declined to be treated and were released.

Later, she had a female friend take her to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to receive medical attention.  At the hospital, she confessed that Dedrick sexually assaulted her at the hotel.  The police arrested Dedrick at his home at the 4700 block of North Central Avenue around 9:30 am.  He was charged with felony criminal sexual assault and felony unlawful restraint.  He was also charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.  When he was at bond court on January 14th, the judge set his bond at $150,000 and ordered home monitoring if he would post bond.


A convicted Joliet Township man beat and strangled his grandmother only a day after he was released from prison, Illinois authorities said. The 38-year-old suspect remains jailed on a $5 million bond while he awaits the outcome of his six counts of first-degree murder charges. The Chicago Tribune recently reported a story about the case.

Darel Agerton, 38, appeared in court on December 6 for the murder of his grandmother, Veronica R. Schick. A public defender requested Agerton’s bond to be lowered, but Will County Circuit Judge Marzell Richardson did not budge. The judge did grant Agerton two phone calls.

According to prosecutors, Agerton beat his grandmother with his hands and feet on Novermber 30, before strangling her.


Unusual procedures were seen in a federal courtroom when the judge ordered a bank robbery suspect to be strapped into a chair. The judge’s decision was fueled by the suspect’s constant requests to be excused from his trial. The Chicago Tribune reported a story on this interesting courtroom scenario.

The repeated outbursts of Joseph “Jose” Banks, also known as the Second Hand Bandit, led to the judge’s order to strap him in his chair. It took five deputy U.S. marshals to carry out this order.

Banks is accused of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others.


A 20 year-old Chicago man was shot in the wrist during an altercation with an off-duty police officer after he allegedly try to hit the officer with a stolen SUV. Lawrence R. Coleman, who is on parole from a 2010 conviction for driving a stolen vehicle, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, aggravated assault of a police officer with a vehicle, possessing a stolen vehicle and two counts of aggravated fleeing causing bodily injury.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Coleman was driving a stolen Honda CRV north on South Prairie Avenue when he passed a police cruiser which was equipped with a license plate reader. The device notified the officers in the cruiser that the SUV was stolen and the pulled Coleman over. The officers exited the cruiser and approached the SUV, which then sped off. Coleman lost control of the SUV and it hit a female pedestrian and a pole before smashing into a wall.

An off-duty, just finishing up his shift so he was still in uniform, witnessed the incident and exited his vehicle to help the woman who had been hit. Coleman backed up the SUV and hit the officer’s car, which had a passenger in it. The officer stood in front of the SUV and ordered Coleman out of the vehicle. Instead of exiting, Coleman drove at the officer and the officer fired several shots at him, with one striking his wrist. Both the pedestrian and passenger in the officer’s car were treated area hospitals and released.


Kidnapping, rape, robbery, and carjacking are among the charges filed against a man, who is already in jail awaiting his murder trial. According to authorities, the man has been in jail awaiting his trial for slaying a woman since 2009. The Chicago Tribune reported a story on the man and the impressive list of charges against him.

The new charges that Melvin Fagan is facing are not connected to his previous charges for slaying the woman, who was found strangled in a vacant building.

Fagan is now accused of kidnapping a woman and sexually assaulting her for more than two days. The alleged sexual assault took place in March of 2010. In addition to these charges, he is charged in the robbery and carjacking of an elderly man, 76, in December 2011.


Kimberly Vaughn and her three children were fatally shot by her husband and their father and was recently convicted to life in prison.

Since the murders in 2007, Kimberly’s family had not seen Christopher Vaughn, until they publicly confronted him, crying and telling him what he had taken from them. Her mother asked why he could not have simply just left them and started his life over and it was shared that her father struggles to play with his other grandchildren.

After the both parents and Kimberly’s twin sister, Susan Ledbetter, shared what they had to say, The Will County judge sentenced Christopher Vaughn to four consecutive life prison sentences.


Chicago police ran into a surprising turn in a case where a man was found burned in a trash can in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, when an autopsy showed the man was strangled. The Chicago Tribune reported a story about the case, along with stories of numerous recent shootings. If you are charged for a crime, contact us today.

Rodolfo Hernandez-Bey, 39, was found burned in a trash can in the Logan Square neighborhood on the night of November 6, according to authorities. After an autopsy found Hernandez-Bey was strangled, the death was ruled a homicide, the Cook County medical examiner's office says.

According to the medical examiner's office, Hernandez-Bey was found dead and burned a in garbage can around 9:20 p.m., and Hernandez-Bey, a Chicago resident himself, had to be identified through fingerprint analysis.


Posted on in Criminal Defense

Judge Cynthia Brim, a Cook County judge who was just re-elected to the bench, appeared in court on a misdemeanor charge for battery. The judge's doctor says she is bipolar but capable of working as a judge when on her medication. The Chicago Tribune reported a story about the judge and her battery case.

At her status hearing, where her case was transferred to another Cook County judge, Brim said she is happy that people allowed her to return to the bench by voting her back in.

Brim's battery charges were filed in March after she allegedly pushed a sheriff's deputy at a security checkpoint in the Daley Center. She is also believed to have thrown a set of keys toward another officer at the checkpoint. She was arrested a day after going on a tirade while she was at work in the Markham courthouse


Posted on in Criminal Defense

With two months left to go in the year, Chicago homicides have already reached the 2011 total. Sunday night, around 11 p.m., Fitz Bariffe, 68, became the city’s 435th homicide victim of 2012.

Within one weekend, there were at least six people killed and an additional 14 wounded in gun violence.

It was reported that Bariffe had constructed a fence around his property to separate himself from drug deals, which is now being looked into as a possible reason for his death. The other shootings during the weekend all victimized men ranging in age from 20-35.


According to a recent Chicago Tribune  article, two suburban Chicago men, Robert C. Pribilski and John T. Burns III, both affiliated with USA Retirement Management Services, were indicted on federal charges related to a Ponzi-like scheme in which they bilked $28 million from about 120 investors. Authorities claim that along with a third man, Mahmut Erhan Durmaz, the duo operated the fraudulent scheme from 2005 to 2010. USA Retirement Management Services has operated offices in Oakbrook Terrace and southern California. Durmaz has allegedly fled the country, thus avoiding the charges that the other two men are facing, at least for now.

The accused men reportedly convinced wealthy investors by advertising estate-planning seminars at local hotels and banquet halls in Illinois and California to invest in Turkish bonds that would allegedly bring investors high rates of return, ranging from 4.75 to 11 percent. Although the men promised investors a guaranteed return, they instead used the investment funds to pay other investors, speculate in real estate and restaurants that failed, and make millions of dollars in payments to themselves, friends, and families.

The lawyer for Burns alleges that he should not have been indicated, as he was simply an employee hired by Pribilski and Durmaz to give presentations and follow up with prospective investors. According to Burns, he had no control over the business’s books and was unaware of any illegitimate business operations.


Ladislav Fromelius, 73, tried to hire a hitman to injure or eliminate an estate executor a few years ago, according to the Daily Herald. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation to commit armed violence on Thursday, September 27 in DuPage County Circuit Court and is facing up to five years in prison for his crime.

Everything started after Fromelius inherited $100,000 from his deceased sister. However, the executor of the estate withheld the money because the will stated that Fromelius would not get the inheritance if he was still associated with his ex-wife. Fromelius became so upset that he tried to get someone to harm the executor. He managed to hire a man called “Mr. G” to do the job and described over the phone how he wanted the executor’s legs broken and also spoke of eliminating her. He also left a payment of $1,000 to the man and had an agreement that another grand would be paid after the deed was done. Little did Fromelius know that Mr G was actually an undercover police officer wearing a wiretap.

Police had been investigating Fromelius for two months after Fromelius’s acquaintance had warned the executor about his plans. He was arrested after leaving the first payment at an agreed location. Police searched his two residences and found many firearms and other weapons.


Kelly Cihlar, 26, has been sentenced to 56 days in DuPage County Jail for resisting a police officer during a stabbing incident at a Naperville nightclub last year, according to the Naperville Sun. Cihlar and her boyfriend Adam Hearn, 33, were smoking cigarettes in the nightclub’s restroom. The bouncer told the couple to go smoke outside which made Hearn lose his temper. He insulted the bouncer who then told the couple to leave the club. A fight soon broke out between Hearn and one of the security staff members. During the fight, Hearn stabbed the staff member in the stomach. The other bouncers managed to disarm and restrain Hearn. The aggressive couple was then arrested by police.

On September 28, Cihlar’s jail sentence was announced. She also has to pay $195 in fines and court costs. However, as she has spent 112 days in jail following her arrest, she has already completed her term. Cihlar was also charged with battery, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, but the charges were dismissed.

Hearn has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, armed violence, aggravated battery and unlawful use or possession of weapons or ammunition by a convicted felon. In August 1995, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drive-by shooting. Hearn’s charges are severe and the penalties could be very harsh even though the bouncer was not killed in the fight. He will need an experienced defense attorney who can minimize the consequences.


An Arlington Heights nurse’s assistant has been charged with stealing $25,000 worth of patients’ jewelry.  Police accuse Krisanne Henderson, 42, of stealing jewelry and other valuables from mentally and physically impaired clients in her care. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office reported she has been stealing from her patients for the past five years.

In January of this year, a man contacted police when several pieces of his wife’s jewelry went missing. According to WLSI-TV , the wife was hospitalized at the time the report was made and unable to give police a statement. A few months later, she contacted police and confirmed the theft, along with other information, including the names of several nurses’ assistants who had provided her with in-home health care. An investigation revealed that one of those assistants, Henderson, had pawned several items at Arlington Heights Jewelry and Loan after the thefts had occurred.

Police brought Henderson in for questioning and say that she admitted to stealing the woman’s jewelry. Henderson told police that she began stealing from patients five years ago. Some of the items she is accused of stealing include a 35-karat aqua marine stone broach, 10-karat gold tennis bracelet with 35 round diamonds, and a pearl necklace. Three of the reported missing pieces have been recovered, with six still missing. Police have identified three additional victims and expect more to come forward. Hendersonhas been released on $5000 bond.

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