Court Watch: Sex Assault Defendant to Challenge His Arrest
In other courthouse news: Hate crime/armed robbery defendants reject a plea deal that included no jail time. New Lenox family sues Silver Cross Hospital over son's suicide.
The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
OAK LAWN — Two men facing a mandatory six to 30 years behind bars if convicted on charges of hate crime and armed robbery turned down a plea deal Monday that included no jail time. Prosecutors allege Mohammed Shaban and Akram Alshoweat were arrested for yelling anti-gay slurs in Arabic while punching, kicking and whipping a woman outside a Hickory Hills restaurant in June 2010. Read more on Oak Lawn Patch.
ORLAND PARK — Judge Colleen Ann Hyland will hear arguments in May on whether Robert J. Phelan was properly arrested in the case of a sexual assault of an elderly dementia patient. Orland Park police said they arrested Phelan, of Oak Lawn, on July 24 after an employee of Lexington Health Care came forward and the 93-year-old woman underwent special examination at South Suburban Hospital. Phelan has pleaded not guilty an 18-count indictment. Read more on Orland Park Patch.
TINLEY PARK — Pretrial hearings were continued to April 13 for Michael Kroll, an Orland Park man who pleaded not guilty in January to multiple counts of hijacking and battery for his alleged role in a car theft involving an elderly woman.
FRANKFORT — A Harvey man charged with residential burglary—who police say caused a lockdown of several Frankfort schools and neighborhoods—returns to court next month to argue that he was unlawfully arrested. In a written motion filed earlier this month, William Jenkins said he had been subjected last fall to “unreasonable searches and seizures” and “Incompetent [sic] witness testimony,” all of which pointed to “harsh discrimination.” In a two-sentence response, a prosecutor noted that Jenkins had provided no specific examples to back up his complaints. Judge Sarah Jones sided with the state but allowed Jenkins—who is defending himself—to amend his original motion with specific information about how he might have been wronged.
Ira Cunningham, who was arrested and charged alongside Jenkins, is being represented by the Will County Public Defender’s Office. Both men will appear back in court on April 9.
Also — Pretrial hearings continue for Brandon Bergthold, a 25-year-old Frankfort Township man accused of driving to meet a father willing to prostitute children at a New Lenox motel. Before court Tuesday, Bergthold signed paperwork giving his parents power of attorney, so they can handle his finances and taxes, family attorney Daniel Kallan said. At the time, Bergthold remained in custody on a $750,000 bond. He returns to court before Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak on April 23.
NEW LENOX — Assistant state’s attorney Christopher Koch said he would wait for computer forensic work to be completed before negotiating a possible plea deal with Joseph Bozen, an Orland Park accused of soliciting sex from teens on the Internet. Another status hearing was set for April 25.
The family of Jason Frame, a New Lenox resident who hanged himself in Silver Cross' psychiatric ward last year, alleges that hospital staff failed to prevent the suicide.
On the Docket Next Week
Steven Dutton, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for attempting to give a girl a ride in his porn-laden truck, returns for his six-month probation review
Three men accused of shooting a woman during a botched robbery, indicted on a combined 223 counts related to attempted murder, home invasion and kidnapping.
Rodney Albright, accused of videotaping a girl in his bathroom
Nicholas Sord, charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI for an incident on New Year’s Day 2010
Dennis Dodson, accused of molesting an elderly woman behind the Home Depot in Orland Park
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