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Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

Chicago prosecutors have dropped charges against Charles Thomas after he successfully completed a court diversion program. Police accused Thomas of aggravated assault of a police officer and criminal damage to property. The campus police officer who apprehended Thomas also shot him. Thomas, a fourth-year political science major, was allegedly smashing car windows and damaging apartment windows.

Bodycam footage shows Thomas approaching the officer with a crowbar. The officers identified Thomas as a mental health case. Thomas’s mother says that he has never had any symptoms of mental illness, but college age is when a number of disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder begin to emerge. His mother said his family had a history of bipolar disorder.

The student was shot, albeit non-fatally, and likely required to get mental health counseling for his problems. The charges against him were dropped in lieu of the pretrial diversion program. It is unclear if he had to make restitution to the university or the individuals whose property he damaged as part of the pleading.

Authorities say that 22-year-old Kiar Evans shot into one vehicle, then carjacked another all over the course of a single week. The carjacking charge is punishable by up to a 15-year sentence. He is being held without bond after his initial appearance. 

Evans was caught after someone phoned in a reckless driver. A police helicopter was able to catch up with Evans and follow his stolen vehicle off of the Eisenhower Expressway. After Evans exited the vehicle, he walked up to another vehicle, knocked on the window, and attempted to pull open the door, but the door was locked and the window was up. Evans then pulled a handgun with an extended magazine and fired two shots into the passenger-side window. The driver sped off before Evans could hijack the vehicle.

Evans then approached another vehicle with his gun out and ordered the driver to exit the car. The driver complied, and Evans had another vehicle. Meanwhile, the police helicopter stayed on Evans before the stolen vehicle was found in a multi-vehicle crash about two miles from the scene of the carjacking. Evans was arrested there.

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.

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 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?

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

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?

A Chicago man has been arrested for allegedly putting out a call on social media to loot during the civil unrest that gripped the city last August. James Massey, 22, has been charged with one count of inciting a riot. If convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison

Calls for Violence Not Protected Under First Amendment

Calls to incite violence against either another person or their property is illegal. The First Amendment does not protect you from making credible, actionable threats, or encouraging others to do the same. The key words here are credible and actionable. If you have the means to carry out the threat or are calling upon others to help you carry out the threat, then you are in violation of laws that have been passed at both the federal and state level. 

A 33-year-old man has been charged with murder after thwarting an attempted burglary on his vehicle. The assailant, Lazaro Vaquez was reportedly cruising with his girlfriend to find someone to rob. He crossed paths with Adam Woods, who was not having it.

Video surveillance shows Vazquez approaching the car, but then appearing startled as Woods exited with a gun. Vazquez could be seen turning around and running. It was then that Woods fired four shots into Vazquez’s back, killing him. 

Is This a Legitimate Murder Charge?

A Chicago man is facing federal charges after police allege he hijacked a car at gunpoint, crashed it on the South Side of Chicago, and fired a shot at police before being apprehended. In 2018, the feds announced that they planned on trying more carjacking cases in federal court. David Johnson is the lucky beneficiary of that initiative. He is the first man to face charges under the federal initiative. 

At the time of the carjacking, David Johnson was on supervised release after he was found guilty of weapons charges. The US Attorney told the press that would-be carjackers had better watch out, “Committing a senseless act of violence like carjacking will earn you a home in federal prison for a long time.”

The Carjacking

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