Court Watch: Murder Defendant's Case Delayed Over Constitutional Rights Ruling
Also back in court: An Aurora serviceman accused of sexual abuse might not undergo psychological testing, as requested by Marine instructor.
The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
Leading the Docket
FRANKFORT — The murder case against Brian Trainauskas is being delayed, pending an appeal by prosecutors that rests on whether the man’s constitutional rights were denied during a police interrogation.
At the Illinois Appellate Court level, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office is challenging Circuit Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt’s ruling that sheriff’s police deprived Trainauskas of his right to counsel during an interrogation Jan. 23, 2009.
Detectives allegedly kept him talking, after he asked for a lawyer, by saying a witness had identified him in a photo lineup.
Prosecutors contend that Trainauskas met and spoke with detectives voluntarily and was not improperly detained.
OAK LAWN — Myrna Jurcev, a community activist indicted for forging signatures on a referendum petition, appeared in a Chicago courtroom and was given another status hearing for Feb. 28. Jurcev was charged with one felony count of mutilation of election materials and a misdemeanor count of disregard of the election code. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.
ORLAND PARK — A sexual abuse case remains stagnant for at least another five weeks. Assistant state’s attorney Deborah Lawler told the court the state is in the same position it was last month: waiting on subpoenaed phone and employment records to arrive before concluding pretrial investigations. Kevin Skaritka, 35, is accused of sexually molesting a teenage girl in Orland Park and Palos Hills between 2009 and 2011.
MOKENA — After pleading not guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, pretrial hearings have begun for an Aurora serviceman. Steven Sly, 22, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, is accused of having sex with a teenage girl in a Mokena park last year.
In early December, an instructor from Fort Sheridan addressed a letter to Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt requesting that the court allow 45 calendar days to complete a medical evaluation on Sly for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, due to a “history of combat service deployment.”
Sly, however, has been arraigned in Judge Daniel J. Rozak’s courtroom. For the request to be considered, it may have to be resubmitted to Rozak, according to assistant public defender Litricia Payne.
A message seeking comment at Fort Sheridan was not returned. Sly remained in custody Tuesday on a $25,000 bond. He’s due back in court Feb. 27.
NEW LENOX — Judge Sarah Jones gave prosecutors an additional five weeks to gather and exchange evidence against Joseph Bozen, who has pleaded not guilty to soliciting sex with minors over the Internet. Assistant state’s attorney Chris Koch told the court that he’s looking to complete forensic work on Bozen’s former computer before the next hearing.
On the Docket Next Week
Allan Kustok, accused of murdering his wife in Orland Park
David Baitman, former Village of Oak Forest attorney charged with 22 counts related to sexual assault and kidnapping
David Reed and John White, whom allegedly helped Rodney Julun rob a dead man's house in New Lenox
A final pretrial hearing is slated for Dawn Hamill, the owner of Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, which was raided almost one year ago.
Hui Zheng, accused of burning down his family’s Chinese restaurant in Worth
Nicholas Sord, whose SUV flipped over on New Year’s Eve 2009, killing Jessica Mejia, returns to criminal court.
James West and his girlfriend Lauren Papiez, accused of soliciting a minor for sex
Michael Angel, former Lincoln-Way High School District 210 employee charged with criminal trespass
Rodney Julun, accused of murdering a New Lenox Township man and robbing his home with two other men
Dennis Dodson, a drifter who allegedly molested a Good Samaritan in Orland Park
Joseph Campione, accused of stealing a donation jar for a cancer patient in Crestwood
Looking for more crime news from this week?