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Articles Posted in Criminal defense

A defendant has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison after his role in stalking and harassing an R. Kelly victim and her mother. The man described himself as a manager and advisor for the beleaguered pop star and threatened the mother and her daughter after they filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly. The harassment appeared to be a means of keeping the victim silent on the matter and preventing the lawsuit from moving forward. 

According to investigators, the defendant threatened to publicly release sexual photographs of the victim if she did not withdraw her lawsuit. The defendant allegedly sent the photos to the victim’s lawyer and the victim herself, stating that he “would seek criminal charges.” It is unclear what criminal charges he would seek or what criminal charges were available for him. He is now convicted of stalking. 

The defendant is also accused of setting up a Facebook page called “Surviving Lies,” a play on the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which was broadcast by Netflix and discussed the lives of the survivors. During a podcast interview, the defendant displayed sexually explicit images of the victim on screen. 

Since the late 80s, the United States has shown significant reductions in violent crimes and murders. The numbers continued to decline even as the U.S. population gained 100 million new members. 

In 1960, the violent crime rate was about 160 incidents per 100,0000 people. By the end of the ‘60s, the number would more than double to 328 incidents per 100,0000 people. By the end of the ‘80s, there were almost 700 incidents per 100,000 people. The number peaked in 1991 when the U.S. reported over 750 violent crimes per 100,000 people. 

But after 1991, the number started going down. In 1992, it decreased by only one percentage point, but by the end of the decade, the number had dropped to 523 violent crimes per 100,000 people. By 2009, we were below 500, at 431. In 2014, we hit a 40-year low at 372 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In 2019, we were at 379. 

It is no secret that criminal justice reform feels like a slap in the face to police officers. It stands to reason, then, that some police departments would refuse to implement provisions passed in 2021. 

In 2021, Illinois passed the Pretrial Fairness Act, which extended privileges to those awaiting trial and under electronic monitoring. Among other things, it allowed individuals to leave their houses for essential business. During certain periods of certain days, they were allowed to leave the house to run errands. 

However, Cook County has been denying essential days to those who also work. The measure was implemented unilaterally by the Cook County sheriff, and many believe that it is a violation of the law, if not the letter of the law, then at least the spirit of the law. But perhaps that is the point. 

A Chicago woman is being charged with murder after stabbing her boyfriend to death. According to police, the incident was related to a dispute over who could use the microwave first. The woman was eight months pregnant at the time of the stabbing, and she and her boyfriend were living together, according to police. 

According to the press release, a dispute broke out over who was going to reheat their leftovers first, which turned into a shoving match. The boyfriend went to lie down in his room, but the girlfriend continued to argue. Eventually, she approached his bedroom with a knife. An uncle attempted to prevent her from getting closer, but she reached around him and stabbed the boyfriend in the thigh. He died after bleeding out from his femoral artery. She then dropped the knife and fled the scene, according to reports. 

The woman is facing one charge of first-degree murder and is being held without bond. As of the stabbing, police were called to five reports of domestic violence, with the defendant listed as the aggressor. All of these incidents occurred over a four-month period between June and September. In one incident that occurred in late August, the defendant was listed as the aggressor in an incident that left her boyfriend with a stab wound to the neck. The boyfriend refused to press charges over the incident. 

The Justice Department announced charges against 21 individuals involved in an organized theft of catalytic converters. From 2018 to 2020, catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed by nearly 700%. Catalytic converters are now big money due in large part to the precious metals used in the manufacture of devices. They are designed to convert harmful gas emissions created by your vehicle into non-harmful gas emissions that reduce smog and protect the environment. Without a catalytic converter, your car will not run properly, either. As the value of these precious metals has increased over the past few years (think inflation), catalytic converters are becoming a prime target for thieves. 

As of right now, some states have moved to place catalytic converters on a list of restricted items that require ownership documentation and provenance to exchange. Others have yet to pass legislation addressing the thefts of catalytic converters, but as the situation worsens, chances are likely that more states will join in to include catalytic converters on lists of restricted items. 

The 21 individuals charged in the ring lived in nine separate states. 32 search warrants were executed, and millions in assets were seized as a part of the investigation. 

A Chicago man was arrested after the attempted rape of a female postal worker in Little Village over the weekend. According to the police report, the postal worker found the man waiting for her in her truck. An altercation ensued, and the postal worker was able to escape. However, the man then stole the mail truck. He has since been charged with attempted criminal sexual assault and vehicular hijacking. The postal worker was taken to a hospital and released.

The Post Office offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the man’s arrest. The surveillance video image shows a clear shot of the defendant’s face. 

The defendant faces a litany of charges, any one of which could put him behind bars for decades or more. With the volume of major felonies he is facing, the defendant is unlikely to see the outside of a prison cell again. They have him at least on grand theft of government property and battery on a government employee. The victim will provide testimony as to the rest of the elements of the prosecution’s case involving attempted sexual assault. 

Police have elected not to press charges against a 17-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed an 8-year-old boy while handling a gun. In cases like these, it is often the gun owner who faces charges for failing to properly secure the gun in a locked safe unloaded as the law requires. However, no one will face charges related to this incident. In some cases, the outcome of an event is tragic enough that the law does not see fit to punish those responsible further. In this case, the gun should not have been accessible to the 17-year-old, and it should not have been loaded. 

Is it Illegal to Improperly Store a Gun?

Yes, but the penalties for this crime are closer to a traffic violation than an actual crime. You can face a $10,000 penalty if a minor gains access to your gun and harms themselves or someone else. Generally speaking, you can also face civil penalties related to injuries suffered by a victim of an accidental gunshot wound.

Chicago politicians facing corruption charges are about the most Chicago thing you can think of. However, what goes into these corruption charges? Do all politicians bend and break the law like this? Are criminal charges related to corruption simply an indication that a specific politician has fallen out of favor with the local elites? These are all valid questions that you can ask, and unfortunately, we do not really have the answers to them. It may not necessarily even be clear to laypeople what is and is not illegal. In most of these criminal prosecutions, it isn’t necessarily clear to the defendants either, who almost always argue that their conduct was legal and did not constitute a crime. 

What Happened Here?

Michael Madigan arranged for a political ally to receive a $22,000 payment from AT&T’s lobbying firm in exchange for a favorable vote on legislation that would have benefited AT&T. Is that legal? It depends on how it’s done. In this case, the individual who received the payment provided no work for AT&T. He simply received money as a chit for Madigan and his political allies to consolidate power. Now, it may not be apparent why this is valuable, but individuals like Madigan control people and their livelihoods and create networks of allies that consolidate power. If you think of it like a market, it becomes easier to understand. Madigan and his political allies sought to control the Illinois power market by consolidating power around themselves and their allies. Is that necessarily illegal? No. But brokering power in this way extorts money from businesses, reduces the competitive vigor of the market, and the general belief is that it makes things worse for everyone.

Two Chicago police officers have been charged after an on-duty shooting of an unarmed man, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. Charges were filed after video surveillance contradicted statements made by the police officers concerning the incident. The two officers now face charges of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and official misconduct. Each of these is a felony with a potential sentence of up to 30 years. The two have been relieved of duty.

The victim did not have a weapon, nor did he fire a weapon when police officers shot at him. He has since filed a lawsuit against the Chicago police. The man was shot twice in the back and once in the leg. His attorney says that he was not a threat to police officers when he was shot. 

The situation was made worse after the victim was brought to the hospital for treatment. At the hospital, the victim was pulled away to answer questions. He was later released without charges and sent back to the hospital. He was still in pain and bleeding when he was he was being questioned. 

Four people, including three teens, have been charged in a carjacking spree that ended with the death of a 55-year-old woman. Police say the perpetrators carjacked two women, set a pickup truck on fire, and then caused a deadly crash after a police chase. The 17-year-old driver has been charged with murder and three counts of aggravated fleeing. Another 17-year-old has been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful use of a weapon. Others are facing charges of trespass to a vehicle and weapons violations. 

The teens carjacked two vehicles in a short time before setting fire to a pickup truck they had stolen earlier. At that point, police became aware of the teens, and a chase ensued. The chase reached speeds of 60 mph and only stopped when the stolen vehicle crashed into a Toyota driven by the 55-year-old victim. 

Understanding the Murder Charge

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