Picture of attorney David L. Freidberg,
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT HIM..."
"MY SON AND I ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR MR. FREIDBERG AND WHAT HE HAS DONE..."
"DAVID IS A PHENOMENAL LAWYER AND HIS CHARACTER SPEAKS WONDERS..."
"IF YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY IN CHICAGO, I WOULD RECOMMEND HIM IN A HEARTBEAT..."

COVID-19 Update: We Are Open 24/7 to Service Current and New Clients.

ryan-ei-cl8xcbco-unsplash-copy-300x200Hours after sharing a meal together, an unnamed woman shot and killed her boyfriend, Steef Giovanni Corniel. The woman told police that Corniel had struck her several times and been physically abusive in the past. She said that Corniel had struck her while she was driving and later choked her at her apartment. He also threatened to kill her mother, according to the woman.

River Grove police chief Mike Konwinski believes the woman should be charged with murder, but Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says that there is not enough evidence to prosecute. Corniel’s family believes that the woman should be charged and in a statement, Corniel’s grandfather claimed that the killing was not self-defense, it was murder.

What Happened?

marco-chilese-2sMbKyQvom4-unsplash-copy-200x300Well, in case you have not heard, and you would have to be living under a rock not to, Harvey Weinstein, the impetus for the #MeToo movement was convicted on two charges, including rape. Weinstein appeared old and battered as he painfully moved through the courtroom with the help of his walker to receive his sentence

While the conviction is chewing up all the headlines, Weinstein was also acquitted of two more serious charges. Nonetheless, he could face up to 29 years in prison. At 67 years of age, that is practically a life sentence.

Weinstein was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, each of which could have carried a life sentence. Those counts hinged on the testimony of popular Italian-American actress Annabella Sciorra, who told the jury that Weinstein had barged his way into her apartment and forcibly raped her. The testimony was supposed to provide evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct going back several years.

rawpixel-1055781-unsplash-1-300x201The former Empire star who allegedly got himself beat up to provoke racial tensions could still face the same charges again. Typically, double jeopardy would prevent such a trial from ever occurring, but a little-known precedent established right here in Cook County may allow prosecutors to file charges again after charges against Smollett were dropped by lead prosecutor Kim Foxx.

Prosecutors will use the long-decided case of mafia enforcer Harry “The Hook” Aleman as precedent for bringing new charges against Smollett. In Aleman’s case, Cook County judge Michael Toomin ruled that because the judge in the original case had been bribed, the failed conviction and consequent acquittal did not count and allowed Aleman to be charged again with the same crimes

Toomin is the same judge who will hear prosecution arguments as to why Smollett should be tried again. The argument appears to be that Foxx should have recused herself from the case and since she did not, the entire episode was invalid from start to finish.

mihai-surdu-DeI2BMIMDFA-unsplash-copy-300x200Both sides finished their closing arguments and the jury began deliberating on the fate of Harvey Weinstein, the once-powerful movie producer who has been implicated in hundreds of accusations of predatory sexual abuse. The judge delivered instructions to jurors to “use their common sense” which is generally good for prosecutors and bad for defendants, as common sense has a way of siding with authority in these matters. However, in this case, the judge’s directives may have echoed the closing arguments of Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno, who specializes in sexual assault criminal defense.

Nonetheless, jurors sent a note asking for the legal definition of consent and forcible compulsion and questioned why Weinstein was not charged in connection with the alleged rape of actress Annabella Sciorra.

Further instructions stipulated that jurors who found Weinstein not guilty of one count must find him not guilty of other counts, as well. The judge defined forcible sexual intercourse and predatory sexual assault, among other terms, for the jurors.

sawyer-bengtson-279792-copy-200x300Critics can be difficult for fledgling artists to take, but most criticism is constructive and nonviolent. This was not the case for a Chicago busker who ran into the wrong woman at the wrong time. 38-year-old Barbara Johnson stabbed 28-year-old street performer, Michael Malinowski, at the Jackson El Stop because she claimed that his music was “giving her a headache.”

Malinowski, who is better known as Machete Mike, had his guitar plugged into an amplifier. Johnson allegedly unplugged the guitar from the amplifier and threw it onto the tracks before stabbing Malinowski. Prosecutors allege that she also attempted to push Malinowski onto the tracks, but failed to do so. It was then that she settled for his guitar and took out a knife and stabbed him.

Johnson was arrested at the scene and has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery in a public place, and criminal damage to property.

david-von-diemar-745969-unsplash-copy-200x300A former Chicago police officer, Lowell Houser, was given a 10-year sentence for second-degree murder just recently. Houser has already spent three years under house arrest with an ankle monitor and he will have that time credited toward his sentence. Since those convicted of second-degree murder are only required to serve half of their sentence, Houser will only be required to serve two more years after a jury found him guilty in the slaying of Jose Nieves. 

Prosecutors wanted to charge Houser with first-degree murder, but a judge nixed the idea when he ruled that Houser truly believed that he was under a direct threat when he fired the gun. The same judge, however, ruled that the shooting was not justified regardless of Houser’s subjective belief that he was in danger. 

The Sentencing Phase

marco-chilese-2sMbKyQvom4-unsplash-copy-200x300A member of the Satan Disciples gang is under investigation over the murder of his cellmate, 19-year-old Pedro Ruiz, who is believed to be a member of a rival gang known as the Almighty Saints. The 24-year-old inmate, whose name was not released to the press, is also believed to have been a part of a vicious beating on a Cook County inmate three months prior. The name of the suspect will not be released until he has been charged with the murder, authorities said.

The same inmate was locked up on charges that he used a rifle to injure a man in 2017. Police say that he was among five detainees who ruthlessly beat another inmate. Video surveillance shows him punching and kicking a 41-year-old victim. Other members of the group then stabbed him with a shank. 

“No Comment”

quentin-kemmel-445082-copy-300x200The trial of George Kleopa began Tuesday after eight years slogging its way through the court system. Kleopa is accused of killing his then-girlfriend, Michele Peters, with whom he lived. Interestingly, Kleopa is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, as opposed to second- or first-degree murder. Kleopa claims that he asked Michele to hand him a gun so that he could clean it when the gun misfired and shot her. The bullet entered her right cheek and became lodged in her brain. She was killed.

The Background

Kleopa and Peters had been together for 10 years before her death. They had two young sons together. By all accounts, Kleopa was “hysterical” after the accident and paramedics recalled having to pull him off his girlfriend’s body after which he cried on the couch. 

ross-parmly-rf6ywHVkrlY-unsplash-copy-300x199Rufus Carson chose to reject a plea deal that would have lifted the burden of a trial for his victim, a Polish teenager who must now return to the U.S. to testify against him. Carson faces felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, and attempted first-degree murder. Carson rejected a plea that offered him a 30-year prison sentence. As it stands, he may face life imprisonment for the litany of crimes he committed against this one victim. He will go to trial in March.

The victim and her family had hoped that Carson would take the plea deal because this would have prevented her from having to come back to the place where she was assaulted and face the man accused of assaulting her. It is more than likely that the prosecution will ask her details concerning the assault, forcing her to relive the event.

Carson Stalls for Time

maique-madeira-256088-copy-300x200Chicago PD will begin using Clearview, a controversial facial recognition software used by the FBI to identify suspects. The controversy surrounding the software is similar to the controversy surrounding law enforcement in general. In other words, it is racist. It also involves another well-established controversy: It is a violation of privacy.

You see, the FBI and law enforcement have access to a database of three billion photos lifted from sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media megaliths. 

How Does it Work?