Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The trial for a Joliet woman charged with setting up a sex date with a teenage boy was scheduled for Monday, and one lawyer said she may be the patsy in a frame-up.
The lawyers for a Joliet woman charged with setting up a sex date with a teenage boy have yet to see evidence supposedly held by the FBI, but unless they back down on a demand for a quick resolution to her case, she may have to go to trial on Monday. Will County Judge Edward Burmila said during a Wednesday hearing that he was not going to hold local prosecutors responsible for coughing up evidence in the possession of the FBI and that he would not delay Monday's trial date for Margarita Hernandez—unless Hernandez's lawyers agree to postpone the proceedings. Hernandez, 33, was arrested in October after allegedly orchestrating a sexual liaison with a 15-year-old Chicago boy. The teen is the friend of the son of one of Hernandez's cousins, …
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:
Friday, January 11, 2013
The FBI and Chicago police have not responded to subpoenas for evidence in the Margarita Hernandez sex case.
Lawyers for the Joliet woman charged with setting up a sex date with a teenage boy are still waiting on the FBI and Chicago police to hand over reports. The attorneys for Margarita Hernandez subpoenaed the reports but have yet to receive them. The lawyers, Steve Landis and Dan Locallo, also submitted a motion Friday asking for evidence related to the cell phones Hernandez and the teen allegedly used to send messages prior to the tryst. Hernandez is free on bond. She faces up to 21 years in prison for allegedly having sex with the teen after he traveled to her home from Chicago in July. The boy's mother went to the Chicago police and accused Hernandez of having sex with her son. The Chicago police passed the case off to the Joliet police …
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 …
Friday, December 21, 2012
The judge in 32-year-old Margarita Hernandez's teenage sex case is going to review some of the alleged evidence against her and then decide if her lawyer can have it.
The feds, the Chicago cops, the Joliet Police Department and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services all probed the alleged teenage sexcapades of 32-year-old Margarita Hernandez, and the Joliet woman's lawyer wants to see what they supposedly have on her. "When I don't see stuff done as a matter of routine protocol, I get very suspicious," attorney Steve Landis said during a Friday morning hearing in Will County court. But Assistant State's Attorney Sara Shutts told Judge Edward Burmila that Landis is looking for stuff she doesn't possess. Landis countered that once Shutts' office decided to prosecute Hernandez, they were responsible for turning all evidence over to him. Landis—and the Joliet police—have said the case …
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 …
Saturday, December 8, 2012
A surprise witness in the Mokena coma punch case turning the trial upside down was just one of the things going on in court this week.
The week finished up with a bang when a surprise witness dropped explosive testimony on the Mokena coma punch case. With Joseph Messina of New Lenox facing felony aggravated battery charges for allegedly beating Eric Bartels of Joliet into a coma in July 2009, witness Steve Raymond of Frankfort came out of nowhere and testified that he saw another man throw the fateful punch. Raymond explained that he kept quiet for years because he expected close friend Mike Glielmi to come clean about punching Bartels. That didn't happen, and Raymond, who is also close friends with Messina, told how he empathized with Bartels' family after his own sister suffered severe brain injuries in a July 2011 motorcycle accident. It was only a year or so after the…
Friday, October 19, 2012
A Joliet West High School student was pulled out of classes and charged with sending a raunchy racist message to Plainfield school district job applicants.
Updated 6:15 p.m. Oct. 19: Federal agents and Joliet detectives tracked down the boy behind a massive hack of the Plainfield school district's job application site, a police source said. The 14-year-old Joliet West High School student was pulled out of classes Friday morning and taken to River Valley Juvenile Detention Center, the source said. The boy was charged with computer tampering in connection with a breach of the Plainfield School District 202 online job application system last week. More than 20,000 people who applied for jobs with the district received what district spokesman Tom Hernandez described as an “inappropriate and offensive message.” One past job applicant said she received one of the emails. The message was titled “…
Monday, October 8, 2012
The boyfriend of a Democratic precinct committeewoman jailed on sex charges claims he is the real target of corrupt police and politicians.
The septuagenarian lover of a 32-year-old Troy Township Democratic committeewoman jailed for an alleged sex date with a teenage boy took another shot at the cops he says framed her in retaliation for his muckraking. "They're going to do everything they can to destroy her because they know how important she is to me," Joliet weekly newspaperman John Gabriel said of the felony sex case that landed his much-younger lady friend, Margarita Hernandez, in jail last week. "This thing with Margarita is nothing more than an adventure in hate," said Gabriel, 76, who formerly worked for the Joliet Times Weekly before striking out on his own and launching the Weekly Reporter. But Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton dismissed Gabriel's accusation as "…
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
How do we prepare our kids for what's next?
My nephew graduated from high school Sunday. He is 18, excessively intelligent and talented. And bored. Our niece turned 18 and graduated the same month. She is a gifted athlete with no hard plan for what's next. These are two good, young adults with accomplishments and success stories. How do we, as parents, prepare them for what comes after high school? Personally, I'm still trying to figure out what comes after high school, and I'm turning 40 this year. With two babies, my life just started — again. If anything, I think that is the message we should be giving our teens: There is no one answer. Gone are the days when we needed to know "what to do with the rest of our lives." Graduates should take the pressure off themselves to have all …