The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
OAK FOREST — A date was set in June for reckless homicide defendant Nicholas Sord to meet with authorities and turn over samples of DNA that will be tested against blood and hair collected from a New Year’s Day 2010 crash scene. Police allege that Sord was close to three times over the blood-alcohol limit when he lost control of his SUV near 147th Street and Oak Park Avenue, killing his 20-year-old girlfriend, Jessica Mejia. Sord’s attorney is planning to use the DNA—and its location inside the car—to argue that Mejia caused the accident.
Once Sord’s DNA is submitted, it could be six months to a year before the results come back from the Illinois Crime Lab. “Please get it done,” Judge Frank Zelezinski told attorneys on Friday, “because it takes a long time to get lab work done...” Assistant state’s attorney Nick D’Angelo responded that the state would be prepared to go to trial after the lab work concluded.
The Orland Park man couldn't make it to his Cook County court hearing on Thursday because he was sitting in McDonough County jail for breaking the terms of a bail posted in 2010.
ORLAND PARK — Prosecutors have decided to pursue charges against James Shaver one at a time, beginning with the most recent and more severe of his two cases. In 2011, he was accused of stalking two girls, one of whom he used to babysit. He was arrested again, earlier this year, after detectives claimed they found child pornography on his confiscated cell phone. Aggravated possession of child pornography is a Class X felony in Illinois. Pretrial hearings resume on June 29.
Anthony Olszowka was arrested on Sept. 19, 2010, for unlawful presence in a school zone at St. Alexander's in Palos Heights.
PALOS — The paperwork stood six inches tall. Sam Cafi and his attorney, Michael Gillespie, left court on Tuesday with, as one prosecutor put it, “a fairly substantial packet” of evidence to sift through. Cafi has been indicted on 61 counts of DUI and one count of reckless homicide for a fatal car crash at 95th Street and LaGrange Road, near Palos Hills, in March.
Prosecutors estimate that it could take several more months of testing before completing their pretrial investigation. According to court testimony, the state is still looking to obtain medical records of the individuals involved, as well as a reconstructed analysis of the crash scene by police.
Five Indiana men were accused of felony mob action, among other charges, during a Monday afternoon court appearance. Two men who prosecutors say were targeted in the Ashford House attack were charged separately.
The arraignment for Tom G. Rohrbach, of New Lenox, was postponed after lawyers learned he might have mental health issues. Police say he threatened to shoot up area high schools and his neighborhood.
On the Docket Next Week
Dawn Hamill, owner of Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty and owner’s neglect
Michael Kelly, accused of beating and choking a girl
Robert Phelan, accused of molesting an elderly dementia patient
Looking for more crime news from this week?