Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The last of four men still in jail for allegedly knocking over an Orland Park jewelry store in October 2011 will likely cop a plea next month.
Three of four men charged with robbing an Orland Park jewelry store more than three and a half years ago have been shipped off to prison, and the judge wants the last case taken care of next month. "If this is not resolved by June 18 it will go to trial," Cook County Judge Colleen Hyland said during a brief Thursday hearing for Antoine Kelly at the Bridgeview Courthouse. Kelly, 33, is the last of four men remaining in the Cook County Jail following their arrests for allegedly robbing Jewelry Gems & Design in October 2011. Kelly's co-defendants—Charles Harper, 38, Darrin Carter, 34, and Lance Vaughn, 33—have all pleaded guilty. Harper got 22 years in prison, Carter was sentenced to 16 years and Vaughn got 13. Kelly's part in the heist was …
Monday, May 13, 2013
A woman allegedly beaten in her home said she has been called by her attacker's family, a prosecutor said.
A woman allegedly beaten during a February home invasion has been called by family of her attacker, a prosecutor said during a Thursday morning hearing at the Bridgeview courthouse. Cook County Judge Colleen Hyland warned defendant Ralph Grajek that contacting the alleged victim in such a way "could amount to a new charge" or a higher bond. Grajek, 46, is already being held at the Cook County jail in lieu of $200,000 bond. He allegedly broke down the door of a Palos Township woman's house and attacked her. The woman was a former girlfriend, a source said, and Grajek broke her collar bone before fleeing her home. Grajek also reportedly tore a phone off the wall when she tried to call the police. The law caught up to Grajek about a week …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
An attorney representing an Orland Park man charged with causing a deadly drunken New Year's crash in 2010 will review an accident reconstruction report after he returns to the United States.
An expert witness' reconstruction report on the New Year's 2010 crash that claimed the life of a 20-year-old New Lenox woman must be reviewed by a lawyer before a judge will decide whether to allow it at trial. But that lawyer, Joseph Casciato, is out of the country, his co-counsel, Jeffrey Aprati, said during a Wednesday morning hearing at the Markham courthouse. Cook County Judge Frank Zelezinski noted he has a busy schedule of upcoming trials and pushed the aggravated driving under the influence case against 25-year-old Nicholas Sord back to July 9. Sord, a resident of Orland Park, is free on bond. "Even though the case is getting very old, I do know there are jury trials set," Zelezinski said. Sord's blood-alcohol content was allegedly…
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The lawyer for Kevin Skaritka said Tuesday in court that his client may be seeing even more charges, while still facing two unrelated sex crime cases.
An Orland Park man facing a pair of unrelated sex crime cases may have even more charges coming down the pike, his lawyer said. "I believe that the state is still looking into the possibility of new charges," Robert Callahan, the attorney for Kevin Skaritka, told Cook County Judge John Joseph Hynes during a Tuesday morning hearing at the Bridgeview courthouse. Investigators are also still probing Skaritka's computer. Hynes set a June 3 date for Skaritka's next appearance. Skaritka, 37, was supposed to go on trial in September for allegedly molesting—and exposing himself to—his girlfriend's teenage daughter. But that case was pushed back when he caught new charges for allegedly attempting to exchange naked pictures with a 14-year-old girl …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
A former Plainfield North gym teacher pleaded guilty to meeting a teen for sex. And that was just one of the things going on in court this week.
More than two years after the police caught her in a car with a half-dressed student from the high school where she was a teacher, Ashley Blumenshine copped a plea. Blumenshine, a 30-year-old former Plainfield North gym teacher, will have to do 11 days in jail. She will also spend two years on sex offender probation and 10 yeas on the Illinois sex offender registry. She tearfully apologized before she was taken into custody to start doing her time. Let's look at what else was going on in the area's courthouses this past week: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
A former Orland firefighter charged with possessing child pornography and trying to chat up a 13-year-old girl online won't be able to take a trip to Atlanta.
A former Orland firefighter facing a pair of sex cases won't be allowed to take a trip to Georgia. Dean Milenkovic, 47, of Orland Park wanted to go to Atlanta to attend to a "family matter," his attorney, Michael D. Krecji told Judge Colleen Hyland during a brief hearing Wednesday morning. Krecji assured Hyland that Milenkovic would abide by all the conditions of his bond during his planned excursion from May 3 to May 7. But Hyland turned Milenkovic down. She also pointed out that Milenkovic isn't allowed to be around anyone under age 18. Milenkovic was arrested in June after allegedly developing an online relationship with an undercover Iowa cop he believed was a 13-year-old girl. Less than four months later, Milenkovic was charged with …
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
A hearing in the Allan Kustok murder case was postponed when no one brought Allan Kustok to court.
A hearing in the murder case of an Orland Park man charged with gunning down his wife never happened after no one brought the alleged killer to court. "Although his papers have been sent, the body was not," said Rick Beuke, the attorney for Allan Kustok. Kustok was to appear at the Bridgeview courthouse Monday morning, but no one picked him up from where he is being held at the Kankakee County jail. Kustok was taken from the Cook County Jail to Kankakee shortly after his arrest when officials learned he had worked as a sanitarian at the jail from 2004 to 2007 and is familiar with the inner workings of the facility. Beuke said he did not know why his client wasn't in court Monday. Cook County Judge John Joseph Hynes reset the hearing for …
Monday, April 15, 2013
A homeless drifter was sent to prison on a 30-year sentence for the brutal assault of a woman who fed him and tried to find him shelter.
A homeless drifter charged with sexually assaulting an 83-year-old woman who fed him and tried to find him shelter has a place to stay for the next 30 years. Dennis Dodson, 36, pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to aggravated criminal sexual assault in exchange for prosecutors dropping 14 other charges relating to his September 2011 attack on a woman behind the Home Depot on 159th Street in Orland Park. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Before Dodson took the plea, his attorney, Camille Bachli, and Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Clarissa Palermo agreed that a psychological evaluation conducted in March showed he was fit to stand trial. Dodson apparently agreed, telling Cook County Judge John Joseph Hynes, "I know what's going on…
Saturday, April 6, 2013
A New Lenox man spoke of his "horrific" ordeal in the county jail after he was arrested for a murder someone else was wanted for.
We started the week off by talking with the New Lenox man jailed for two weeks for a murder allegedly committed by someone else with the same name. Pedro Hernandez, 67, said his time in the Will County jail was "horrific," and that he's looking for a lawyer to talk to about filing a lawsuit. But Hernandez's ordeal was just one of the things going on last week. There was also: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A man claims he suffered "severe and permanent injuries" while taking care of a woman's cat.
A "vicious" cat so grievously wounded a Homer Glen man that he is suing its owner for at least $100,000. The suit, filed at the Will County Courthouse on behalf of William Baxter, claims the cat's owner, Christine Bobak, "should have known (her) cat had vicious propensities in that, upon information and belief, the cat had attacked at least one other person on at least one prior occasion." But whether Bobak or Baxter knew the cat was vicious or not, Baxter ended up taking care of the animal in April 2011, the suit said, and that was when the cat "without provocation, viciously attacked, bit and clawed" Baxter. The suit did not make clear whether Bobak's pet was just some run-of-the-mill house cat or something more considerable and exotic, …