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Annazette Collins has been charged with failing to report income and underreporting income after a grand jury decided to indict her just recently. Collins is facing a five-count indictment related to her political consulting firm. The federal government accused Collins of willfully attempting to hide income streams for the purpose of avoiding taxes

The charges stem from a bribery probe involving embattled former Congressman Michael Madigan. Collins is the latest collateral damage in the corruption probe that is still ongoing. Collins left office in 2013 as a Democrat. She was then hired by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) after her retirement. An attorney for Collins characterized the charges as a “blatant attempt to squeeze Collins” for information concerning the ComEd case. That is probably true. It is unlikely that Collins would have faced these charges (at least now) if there was not a more important case that might involve her.

Collins is not the only former Congressperson facing charges related to ComEd. Recently, Ed Acevedo and his three sons pleaded not guilty in relation to similar charges. If convicted, Collins could spend three years behind bars.

File this one under Crime in the 21st Century. A teen live-streamed himself smoking pot with a gun in his lap after eluding police during a traffic stop. Antonio Butler has been charged with five counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, and more. Prosecutors also hinted that the crime spree was still under investigation, and that the teen may face additional charges. Since Butler is 18 years of age, he will be tried as an adult. 

The Spree

The Audi was stolen on March 25. It was then reported in an armed robbery, but Butler was able to get away. Later that day, the Audi was reported in two gas station robberies, a carjacking, and another armed robbery. Police eventually caught up with the vehicle and found Butler asleep inside. They tapped on the window to wake him up and then broke through the window to get him out. Butler hit the gas and drove the Audi into police vehicles, before successfully fleeing the scene. He then posted a video to Instagram showing him smoking marijuana with a gun in his lap while bragging about losing the police.

A Hammond man is facing charges that he fired five shots from a semi-automatic pistol at his wife’s friend. Ramiro Malagon, 34, is now facing charges of attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in serious bodily injury. Malagon’s wife told police that they had been married for 14 years, but over the past few months, they had grown estranged and did not interact much. 

The wife said she was driving her friend back home when Malagon pulled up alongside her on the road. When the wife recognized that she was being followed by her husband, she pulled a U-turn and dropped him off at a liquor store. The friend said he did not want to be involved with their domestic problems. The man was walking from the lot when Malagon pulled up alongside him and demanded that he stop. He then fired five bullets at the man. 

The victim was struck twice, once in the thigh and again in the back. The victim took cover behind a dumpster and eventually, Malagon gave up and drove off. 

A man who caused the death of another man during a robbery attempt will not face charges after Cook County determined that they acted in self-defense. The man’s name has not been released since the County is not pursuing charges. The incident occurred during last summer’s civil unrest.

According to the police report, 31-year-old Lorenzo Thomas approached an unidentified man with another man in a robbery attempt. The man grabbed a metal bar and struck Thomas in the abdomen. The man was brought to the hospital but was released several days later. He was readmitted three days later. He died as an apparent result of those injuries. The Cook County medical examiner ruled that the man’s death was a homicide caused by assault. However, the assaulter was deemed to have acted in self-defense. Thus, he will not face charges related to the homicide. 

Why Was the Man Not Charged?

Two 18-year-old men are facing charges of terrorizing two other men who had arranged dates on the popular Tinder App. Jahziah McDonald and Jeremiyah Mannie were denied bail after the prosecutors said that the attacks were organized. The men have been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, and aggravated robbery—all of which are felonies. The men did not have adult records. However, one faced juvenile charges related to auto theft. A third female teenager was used to lure the men to the attack. The teenaged girl will face juvenile charges. A fourth individual who attended the attacks was released uncharged. 

Hook-up Site Robberies Targeting Men

Men are not usually the target of hook-up site robberies. Generally, it is women who have to be more careful. However, anyone can be the victim of this sort of attack without regard to their gender. In this case, men hoping to hook up with a pretty girl were lured to a secluded place where the attack could be conducted. One man was forced to withdraw money from his account at an ATM. 

A Chicago police officer who instructed other Chicago police officers in the use of force was recently arrested in relation to an off-duty police shooting. The officer shot the man in the hand. 39-year-old Kevin Bunge is charged with aggravated battery and the unlawful use of a weapon. Both are felonies. Bunge was held on a $10,000 bond.

Police say that Bunge was on his way home from the police academy where he taught when a vehicle pulled up behind him. Bunge was parked, listening to a book on tape when the vehicle approached. The two men were going to meet a friend. The one man was providing directions to the other man using Google Maps. The driver did not believe that the directions were accurate, so they pulled their vehicle over. 

At this point, Bunge exited his vehicle with his gun and his badge. Although neither man was armed, Bunge fired into the vehicle. Both men inside the vehicle have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bunge. Meanwhile, Bunge is facing criminal charges related to the incident.

An 18-year-old who ordered a ride from Lyft is now facing carjacking charges after police say he hailed the ride with the sole intention of stealing the car. Cornelius Carr has been charged with vehicular hijacking and armed robbery

According to the driver, he was on his way to pick up a fare when two teens approached his vehicle wearing masks and surgical gloves. They got into the back seat, and one of the teens demanded the driver’s keys and money. The driver complied, and the two teens drove off with the stolen car. The vehicle was recovered later with the plates removed. Police were able to track the account used to hail the Lyft driver back to Cornelius Carr. The Lyft driver then identified him in a lineup, according to police. The police did not say how this was accomplished when the teens were wearing masks.

The Case Against Carr

A woman described as a “serial stowaway” has been arrested yet again after her ankle monitor malfunctioned. Marilyn Hartmann, who claims she has taken over 30 free flights, will now face charges of criminal trespass after wandering off from her halfway house. She was spotted by TSA and authorities were notified that the woman was in the airport. Hartmann is facing felony charges from a prior attempt to stowaway aboard a plane. Prosecutors will likely file more felony charges against the woman. 

The same woman was the subject of an interview broadcast on television where she told reporters that she began hopping planes in 2002. Hartmann has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but that likely will not help her after repeated attempts to violate the same law.

Will a Mental Health Defense Work?

In cases in which someone dies of a drug-related overdose, the law has established that it can prosecute these crimes as homicides. What type of homicide is a different story. In several states, providing addicts with drugs can be prosecuted as a felony murder charge. The Chicago PD has quietly begun investigating drug deaths to build homicide cases against drug dealers.

How do Chicago criminal defense attorneys feel about that? Well, let me tell you.

What is a “Drug-Induced Homicide”?

Two Chicago teens have been charged with carjacking and threatening to shoot the woman whose vehicle they stole. The incident occurred on the Southwest side of Chicago. The teens are accused of pulling a 58-year-old woman from her vehicle, threatening to shoot her, and then driving away with her car. Police were able to track down the vehicle less than two hours later. They arrested one of the teens at that time. 

While both assailants are under the age of 18, the older of the two, a 17-year-old, is facing charges for vehicular hijacking and aggravated robbery. The 15-year-old is facing one count of criminal trespass to a vehicle. Both teens will make their first appearance in juvenile court, but the 17-year-old is likely to be charged as an adult for violently depriving someone else of their property.

What is Vehicular Hijacking?

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