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marco-chilese-2sMbKyQvom4-unsplash-copy-200x300R. Kelly has been denied a request to seek release from jail during the coronavirus outbreak. The disgraced singer’s attorneys filed a request for bond with the U.S. District Court in Chicago. Attorneys for Kelly claimed that because of his advanced age (53) he was at high risk of contracting and suffering severe symptoms of the coronavirus. Kelly’s attorneys also stated that hand sanitizer and soap are difficult to find at the present moment and that inmates are kept in small cells and are not practicing social distancing.

Nonetheless, the court rejected Kelly’s request and the embattled pop star is not elderly enough to be considered in the high-risk group. Kelly had also undergone a recent surgery for a hernia, but the court ruled that it did not place him in a substantially higher risk group than others. Lastly, federal authorities reported that the prison has enough soap and hand sanitizer for everyone. The final nail in the coffin was that there were no reports of the virus among inmates.

Prosecutors Cite Kelly as a Flight Risk

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225Curtis Lovelace was charged with the murder of his wife, Cory Lovelace, in Illinois. After a mistrial the first time around, a jury decided that the prosecution had not met their burden of proof and acquitted Lovelace of the crime. Nonetheless, Lovelace was sent a bill for over $40,000 for posting bond and various expenses related to his in-home incarceration. We also spent some time in a county jail before he was able to get friends to lend him the money.

Lovelace is now jobless, family-less, and his life is destroyed. After the acquittal, Lovelace petitioned the court to return the entire $350,000 bond. But instead, they sent him an “administrative fee” for $35,000 and charged him another $5,000 for the 277 days he wore an electronic monitor.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Illinois declined to hear his case.

mark-condy-ju2i2Ajqq_8-unsplash-copy-300x225Each state has its own laws when dealing with quarantine orders. There are also federal laws that lay out penalties for violating a quarantine order. These laws vary widely from one state to another. In some places, like Florida, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and face six months in county jail. 

The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have their own measures in place for meting out punishment for those who violate a quarantine order. In this article, we will take a look at what the law says about staying indoors during this difficult period.

All Sick People: Shelter in Place

fabio-bracht-e3oE-l-rtpA-unsplash-copy-300x225In the age of the coronavirus, crime still exists even as the courts are mostly shut down across the United States and especially here in Illinois. In fact, throughout much of the U.S., the criminal justice system is on pause. However, in Missouri, one man has been charged with making terrorist threats after he videoed himself licking deodorant in a Missouri Walmart. 

Cody Lee Pfister was arrested by the Warrenton police department after posting the video to social media on March 11. The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office has charged him with making terrorist threats in the second degree. The allegations read something like: Pfister knowingly caused a false belief or fear that a condition or danger was present that involved a danger to life. He did this with reckless disregard of the risk of stirring panic, evacuation, quarantine, or closure.

Making a Terrorist Threat in the Second-Degree

ryan-ei-cl8xcbco-unsplash-copy-300x200An ex-Chicago cop’s son is free on bail after being accused of shooting three people. 26-year-old Steven Bradley, Jr. is charged with attempted murder. His fiancee put up the $25,000 necessary for his release. 

The shootings occurred in Dolton, a small Chicago suburb that saw an uptick in criminal activity. Local law enforcement expressed shock and dismay that Bradley was allowed free on bail after being charged with three attempted homicides. 

Violent Crime and Bail

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200A Chicago jury has convicted Shomari Legghette of the first-degree murder of Chicago police officer Paul Bauer. Legghette attempted to say that the shooting was in self-defense, but the jury listened to evidence that Bauer had pursued Legghette after other officers called in suspicious activity around the Thompson Center. Bauer was in uniform at the time of the shooting but was wearing a jacket over his uniform, bolstering the defense’s argument that Legghette had no reason to believe that Bauer was a police officer. 

Bauer pursued Legghette on foot and a fight broke out. The two ended up tumbling down the stairs. The prosecution asked jurors to focus on the 25 seconds between when the fall happened and the sound of gunfire. Much of the incident was caught on video. Prosecutors said that Legghette should have figured the situation out when he saw Bauer with handcuffs and noticed his police radio on full volume. 

Legghette Fails to Testify

rawpixel-1055781-unsplash-1-300x201Monday, a judge delayed the trial of former Lake County councilman Jamal A. Washington. Washington is being charged for the third time with domestic battery. The initial date had been set for April, but Washington’s attorney asked for a continuance because he plans on calling more witnesses than he had originally listed.  

The 46-year-old Washington has been convicted twice of domestic battery. In this case, Washington is accused of striking Gary Councilwoman LaVetta Sparks-Wade and holding her against her will for nearly 16 hours in her own home. 

The continuance will allow the prosecution to depose the witnesses prior to the trial and allow the defense to introduce what is more than likely to be exculpatory evidence on Washington’s behalf. 

joshua-coleman-ZVkDLrXGMdw-unsplash-copy-300x208Federal agents have seized 100 electronic devices after executing a search warrant of R. Kelly’s property. The seizure has resulted in a postponement of R. Kelly’s trial while investigators and prosecutors determine whether or not there is any new information that can potentially be used to charge Kelly with more crimes. 

The information came out during a routine arraignment during which Kelly was being charged with abusing a minor victim over the course of four years beginning in 1997. 

The trial had been set for April 27 but is now likely to be postponed while investigators determine whether or not there is anything actionable on the iPads, cell phones, and other electronic devices found in the raid. 

danielle-rice-v6I0YqzazbE-unsplash-copy-225x300LaRoyce Tankson was acquitted of first-degree murder charges by a Cook County judge in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man. The judge believed that Tankson was in fear for his own life when he discharged his weapon, meaning that the shooting was justified. Family and friends of Tankson breathed a sigh of relief as the verdict was read.

It is not uncommon for police officers to prefer bench trials as opposed to jury trials, especially in Chicago where the police do not have the best of reputations. Nonetheless, prosecutors set forth the case against Tankson himself, characterizing him as a cowboy who acted callously. 

What Happened?

matt-popovich-60437-copy-300x162The trial of Shomari Legghette is set to begin. Legghette is charged with murdering 31-year Chicago police commander Paul Bauer after the two men tussled in a stairwell outside the Thompson Center in February of 2018. Legghette faces an uphill battle. Legghette faces a first-degree murder charge along with several drug and weapons charges. Legghette, who is a four-time convicted felon, may take the stand on his own behalf. He will say that the killing was in self-defense and the defense will introduce evidence that Bauer and Legghette had a long acrimonious history.

Taking the Stand on Your Own Behalf

The decision to place a defendant who is facing criminal charges on the stand is a difficult one for an attorney to make. If you allow your client to take the stand, it opens the prosecution up to bring in other evidence of past crimes. In this case, however, the defense may have no choice. It is common for those who argue that a killing was justified because it was done in self-defense to take the stand.