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Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

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

A Chicago police officer is facing numerous charges related to an incident that occurred while he was off-duty and allegedly intoxicated. Joseph Cabrera, who is an eight-year veteran of the Chicago police force, was originally charged with the aggravated discharge of a weapon and disorderly conduct. However, the charges have now escalated to attempted murder, making a false report, and obstruction of justice. 

According to investigators, Cabrera told police he had been attacked before discharging his weapon. But prosecutors say that the officer was never attacked. 

The Prosecution’s Story

If any one story can encapsulate the zeitgeist of the state of policing in America, it is this one. John Catanzara, the president of the Chicago police union, is facing at least two disciplinary charges. One is related to a social media post in which he referred to Muslims as “savages” and said, “They all deserve a bullet.” The other is related to criminal charges that he filed a false police report against another police officer, then-Superintendent Eddie Johnson. 

Disciplinary charges follow an IA investigation into Catanzara who allegedly claimed that Superintendent Eddie Johnson allowed protesters onto the Dan Ryan Expressway. This will be the third time that the President of the police union has faced firing. Two prior superintendents have tried and failed to get Catanzara tossed from the force. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended Catanzara’s firing after he made incendiary comments against Muslims. 

Is it Illegal to Make Incendiary Comments About Muslims?

Many of those who engaged in the violent protest that ended the life of one D.C. officer and several protesters are facing federal charges right now. Their faces and names are appearing all over social media and their identities are being revealed. In cases in which the federal government refuses to file charges, the individuals are being held accountable by the companies for which they work. One Chicago-area CEO discovered this the hard way.

Bradley Rukstales is one of the protesters who are facing federal charges stemming from the Capitol riot. He has also lost his job as CEO of the tech company Cogensia. A spokesperson for the company said Rukstales was terminated on Friday, effective immediately. The Vice President and COO of the company will take over Rukstales’ duties.

The company issued a statement that said that Rukstales’ actions were not consistent with the core values of the company. Rukstales is also facing federal charges for unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

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