UPDATE: ‘Ghost Rider’ Lawyer Dismissed from Case
The trial of an Orland man accused of videotaping himself fleeing and eluding police on a motorcycle in clips that later ended up on Youtube was set to begin Wednesday, but his lawyer was dismissed because of a conflict regarding a witness.
Update, 6:04 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013
Attorney Patrick Doherty was slated to represent in court 22-year-old Justin Jachimiec, accused of videoing himself popping wheelies on a motorcycle and mocking police, as he rode by squad cars and other vehicles in a residential area of Orland Park.
However, during jury selection on Wednesday, Doherty found that one of the state’s key witnesses is a client of his on an unrelated case still pending in court. As a result, Judge Carmen Aguilar dismissed Doherty from representing further Jachimiec on his case.
During Thursday’s proceedings, both Aguilar and Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Norton said that Doherty brought the connection to the court’s attention as soon as he found out the witness’s identity Wednesday.
Aguilar cited two previous cases where the court ruled a defense attorney could not serve in a case where a current client was serving as a witness for the prosecution.
“It would be an error not to find a per se conflict of interest in this case,” Aguilar said. “Representing both would be a violation of Illinois rules and conduct.”
Doherty requested that a public defender be assigned to Jachimiec, while he and his family decided on future representation. Aguilar agreed and appointed David Colaric as counsel.
Jachimiec, dressed in a grey dress shirt, dark slacks and a tie, said “yes” when asked if he understood the judge’s ruling.
Doherty declined to comment after the hearing. Aguilar dismissed the jury from serving, and thanked them for the time put in.
Jachimiec is scheduled to be in court next on Wednesday, Feb. 13 for a status hearing.
Original post, 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
Jury selection began Wednesday, for the 22-year-old Orland Park man accused of being the Orland "Ghost Rider," a wheelie-popping motorcyclist who videoed himself fleeing police, clips of which were later found on YouTube.
Justin Jachimiec has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including two counts of felony fleeing and eluding police and other traffic violations. He is currently in custody in the Cook County Department of Corrections on a no-bond order after he missed an October court date. A November trial date was postponed.
The trial is expected to be underway for the rest of this week and conclude on Friday. Jachimiec will be tried in Judge Carmen K. Aguilar's Bridgeview courtroom.
Orland Park police arrested Jachimiec in March. Three months later, he was in McDonough County court for different charges of fleeing and eluding against him, and was acquitted.
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