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Court Watch: Stabbing and Sexual Exploitation Cases Postponed

Defense evidence in the Allan Kustok murder case may finally be presented in June. A new judge will preside over an animal cruelty and neglect case out of Tinley Park. And more from the courts.

The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.

Cook County

OAK FOREST

The prosecution in the trial of Derek Grib, who is accused of murdering 18-year-old Felix Jimenez in 2009, requested the change because of a scheduling issue.

Also — Pretrial hearings involving David Baitman, a former Village of Oak Forest attorney charged with kidnapping and sexual assault, were continued to June 14. His attorney, Michael Ettinger, has said he would obtain medical opinions about his client’s mental capacity for trial but has not yet presented those opinions to the court.

ORLAND PARK

The state's pretrial investigation continues against a man charged with 14 counts related to sexual abuse following a joint effort last year by Orland Park and Palos Hills police.

Also — An investigation into the shooting death of Jeanie Kustok is moving, after nearly 20 months, from the state to the defense. Since , assistant state’s attorneys and Orland Park detectives have been steadily building their case. All parties return to court on June 5 to give Judge John Hynes an update.

TINLEY PARK

Judge Christopher Donnelly bowed out in light of an anonymous letter he received that tried to persuade his judgment. Dawn Hamill was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty and owner's neglect following a police raid on her property last year.

Will County

FRANKFORTPrivate attorney Adam Grosch replaced the Will County Public Defender’s Office on Tuesday as counsel to Brian Trainauskas, a Frankfort Township man charged with solicitation of murder. Last year, authorities said Trainauskas was awaiting trial for the 2009 murder of Monica Timar when he tried enlisting his cellmate to kill a prosecutor and pin the Timar murder on someone else. The older case—in which he is being represented by private attorney George Andrews—remains at the appellate court level after Will County Judge Richard Schoenstedt ruled that Trainauskas’ Constitutional rights were violated during police interrogation. Pretrial hearings for the solicitation of murder case continue on June 21.

NEW LENOX

Tom G. Rohrbach, 46, of New Lenox, was charged Wednesday. Police say a two-month span of threatening phone calls, including some against Lincoln-Way schools, led them to Rohrbach.

Also — Sentencing was postponed for two Chicago men who robbed the home of a dead New Lenox Township man and might testify in an upcoming murder trial. David Reed and John White have pleaded guilty to residential burglary and are scheduled to appear again in front of Judge Daniel Rozak on May 11 and May 18, respectively. Rodney Julun is accused of murdering Dwight Jones and then enlisting Reed and White to rob his home and property over successive days. Prosecutors are planning to call Reed and White as witnesses at Julun’s trial. An attempt by Julun to place a ‘gag order’ on them last week was unsuccessful. Julun also returns to court on May 18.

PALOS Pretrial hearings involving Rodney Albright, a former Village of Palos Park employee accused of videotaping a girl in his Lockport home bathroom, were held over one week in anticipation of the state turning over digital evidence to the defense. Albright’s attorney, Douglas DeBoer, said he plans to review it with Albright as soon as it is in his hands. Albright has remained in jail on a $3 million bond since February.

On the Docket Next Week

MONDAY

Michael Albanese, accused of violating child sex offender laws for coaching in a public park

Kristin Simon, accused of stealing more than $28,000 from a homeowner’s association

TUESDAY

Rodney Albright, accused of videotaping a minor in his bathroom

WEDNESDAY

William Jenkins, one of two men accused of causing a lockdown of Frankfort area schools and neighborhoods following a burglary investigation

FRIDAY

David Reed, sentencing on charge of residential burglary

 

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