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Articles Posted in Criminal defense

Adam Toledo is among the latest victims of police violence, but bodycam footage shows the officer making a split-second decision as Toledo turned around. Toledo had deposited the gun behind a fence and was no longer holding it when the officer discharged his weapon. He had put his hands up, and in the heat of the moment, the officer shot him. The officer involved in the shooting will not face any charges related to Toledo’s death. The same cannot be said for the 21-year-old, Ruben Roman, who allegedly gave Toledo the gun.

What Police Think Happened

Roman and Toledo were together. Roman was discharging his weapon. The sound startled nearby residents, who called the police. Roman knew that the police were coming, so he gave the weapon to a 13-year-old who would not face charges. Roman had already faced weapons charges and was on gun probation at the time of the incident. So that is how the 13-year-old ended up with the weapon. The 13-year-old is running around with the weapon, police order him to drop it and put his hands up, and even though he complies, they shoot. Toledo dies.

A Chicago man who drove his pickup truck into picnickers is facing four counts of attempted murder. The man struck two people in a group of 10—people who he dubbed, “yuppies with dogs.” 

Prosecutors said that 10 people were celebrating a birthday when Timothy Nielsen complained about their dogs. Members of their group asked the man to leave, but that is when he threw his truck in reverse and struck them. One woman was briefly trapped underneath the truck and was sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Another victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The Defendant

A police officer was cleared during a bench trial of all wrongdoing after the daughter of a former girlfriend accused him of inappropriately touching her. A Cook County judge found the officer not guilty. After the charges surfaced, the officer was “de-deputized” and placed on administrative leave without pay. A case to have the officer fired is still pending. 

What is a Bench Trial?

A bench trial is a trial that is heard by a professional jurist as opposed to a jury of your peers. Most criminal defendants choose to avoid bench trials preferring to instead roll the dice with the public. However, police officers tend to choose bench trials, especially nowadays, when public sentiment toward police is at an all-time low. Choosing to have your case heard by a judge is an option when you think a professional jurist would be more likely to rule in your favor than a jury of your peers.

A Texas woman is being charged with felony embezzlement after returning a VHS tape of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, 20 years after its due date. The woman told authorities that she had never rented the tape, but at the time, she was seeing a young man with two young daughters. The tape was never returned, and now the woman is facing felony charges

In March of 2000, the woman was charged with felony embezzlement of a rental property. However, no one went out looking for the major criminal. So 21 years later, the woman was trying to get her name changed after a recent marriage, and that is when she found out she was a wanted felon.

What is Embezzlement?

Even criminal defense attorneys recognize that it takes a special type of awful to prey on the hopes and dreams of the less fortunate only to exploit them later. It takes a certain black-heartedness that most of us cannot understand. Especially when the exploitation takes so much planning and years of consistent pressure to execute.

Such is the plight of one Cicero woman who was recently sentenced to six and a half years for the forced enslavement and labor of Guatemalan immigrants. In this article, we will discuss what the woman did.

The Scam

For those of you who have not followed the story, Adam Toledo was a 13-year-old person of color who was shot dead by police officer Eric Stillman. Police received a call of weapons fire and they responded. Toledo and an older boy were allegedly firing into vehicles with loaded weapons. The cops responded, they caught up with Toledo on foot. The police officer was running with his weapon drawn when Toledo dumped his weapon and turned around with his hands up. The officer, not knowing whether or not Toledo was turning to shoot or to surrender, fired on the spot, killing Toledo. Should the officer be held accountable for this crime?

Where do We Lay the Blame?

Already, lines are beginning to form. On the one side, you have people blaming the police officer for using cowboy tactics to contain the situation. Others blame the 13-year-old, his parents, or the older boy who was with him at the time, Ruben Roman, who put the gun in his hands. Roman will face charges for putting the gun into the hands of the 13-year-old. But police-reform advocates believe that police are scapegoating Roman for their own mistake. Could it be that they are actually all right?

A 16-year-old who was recently released from juvenile detention will face charges as an adult for murdering 53-year-old Guillermo Antonio Quiles. This will be the second teen to face charges related to Quiles’s death

Ricmeal King Bolden had just been released from a juvenile detention facility for a weapons charge and possession of a stolen vehicle. 

Presenting the Defendant in the Best Possible Way

The federal government considers fraud of public funds earmarked from natural disaster relief programs a particularly black-hearted crime. A Chicago tax preparer is facing charges that he helped his clients obtain millions in coronavirus relief aid under The CARES Act. While helping your clients secure loans is not in itself a federal crime, helping them secure loans under false pretenses is. Hadi Isbaih is charged with four counts of wire fraud. An indictment returned recently confirmed the charges. 

The government reinforced its commitment to prosecute those who steal from public coffers and deprive those who need the money of much-needed relief. 

Evaluating the Accusations

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.

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