Pair Accused in BB Gun Carjacking May Go to Trial

The next court date for a man and a woman accused of carjacking an Orland Park restaurant employee with a BB gun could determine whether the pair will go to trial or consider a deal.

Attorneys for two people accused of carjacking an Orland Park restaurant employee last summer will have to indicate next month whether the pair will go to trial or want to resolve the case with a plea, a Cook County judge said Thursday.

At a hearing in his Bridgeview courtroom, Judge John J. Hynes reminded counsel for Jonathan Sarolas, 25, and April Schmidt, 24, that the exchange of evidence is complete in the case and the next status date should determine whether they want to move forward with a trial.

Both have been charged with felony aggravated vehicular hijacking.

On June 25, police say Sarolas held up the employee with a BB pistol and stole her car keys and purse, before Sarolas and Schmidt fled the parking lot of Red Lobster in Orland Park, in the employee's car. After a police chase, Schmidt was picked up near the car and Sarolas was arrested days later. He had been released from prison 11 days before the incident after getting a 6-year sentence on a 2006 burglary conviction. 

Schmidt is out of custody on electronic home monitoring but Sarolas' arrest was a violation of his parole. He is currently in custody at the Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg.

Both defendants appeared at Thursday's hearing, with Sarolas towering over his attorney, Gus Kustopoulous, in a bright yellow IDOC jumpsuit. Schmidt, dressed casually in jeans and long-sleeved shirt, stood next to her attorney Tim Grace.

Sarolas frequently whispered to Kostopolous during the hearing; the attorney told Hynes that Sarolas wanted a March court date to complete drug therapy classes.

However, Hynes said he wanted a shorter date to determine whether there will be a trial.

Sarolas and Schmidt are scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 7.

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