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Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

Two individuals are facing charges after Chicago police dispersed a gathering in Englewood. 21-year-old Jaquan Hayden is charged with one count of aggravated use of a weapon and two counts of resisting arrest. 42-year-old Sedrick Monroe is facing one count of being a habitual criminal in possession of a firearm.

Monroe was arrested after laying down his weapon in front of a car. He attempted to flee on foot but was eventually caught by officers. Hayden was arrested after a call for shots fired. Police caught up with him running through an empty parking lot. Officers were able to recover a revolver from Hayden. Neither man had a license to carry concealed weapons. 

Three others were arrested and charged with misdemeanors. 

Criminal justice is a complex issue, and it is no secret that innocent people are convicted every day while guilty ones go free. Furthermore, the role that prisons and prisoner health plays in the process of criminal justice is a controversial one. 

Every prison has a duty to the inmates to ensure that their basic needs are met. This means that they remain healthy, fed, and in a sanitary environment. When prisons cannot do this, they are liable to the families if prisoners die under their watch. Families file wrongful death lawsuits against prisons all the time. While prisoners do not make ideal plaintiffs, the government is not an ideal defendant, either. 

So what happens now that you have a pandemic going on? Well, some of those awaiting trial have already been released to their families (depending on the charges) while others, who are considered low-risk, are also being released.

A Chicago-area father is facing charges after his son shot himself in the hand with a household gun. Bernard Shields, 36, of Chicago is facing a felony charge of being a habitual criminal in possession of a weapon with a filed-off serial number. He is also facing a felony count of possession of a controlled substance and several misdemeanor counts related to the discharge of the weapon and child endangerment. 

What Happened?

The parents were asleep when the boy found the gun in one of his father’s pants. Anyone who owns a gun should know better than to keep it in their pants when there are children around. He took the gun to the bathroom, ostensibly to play with it, and the gun discharged, injuring his hand. The child was taken to Children’s Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and then sent home. His father fled the scene knowing that police would be arriving shortly, but was later found and arrested. 

brandi-ibrao-1140359-unsplash-copy-300x225Last week, Kim Foxx announced that she would be shutting down operations for the domestic violence courthouse for 14 days after one of the employees tested positive for COVID-19. This is despite the fact that there has been a spike in domestic violence complaints during the shutdown. 

As of the writing of this blog post, prosecutors had stopped hearing domestic violence cases in all but the most violent or dangerous of situations. The office assured those in difficult situations that they were setting up a means to field complaints by phone. Those in dangerous situations are currently advised to petition judges in civil court for injunctions, restraining orders, and more. 

An Uptick Domestic Violence Hotline Calls 

marco-chilese-2sMbKyQvom4-unsplash-copy-200x300Both Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly have filed motions with the court for temporary release during the coronavirus outbreak citing health hazards. Weinstein and Kelly are both older with Weinstein being the more vulnerable of the two due to a recent surgery and more advanced age. Both were denied bail by the courts. 

But can others be expected to get their bail denied during the COVID-19 outbreak? 

The Virus is a Problem for Prisons

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

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

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. 

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.

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