Joliet Township man, aka Spiderman, gets 78 years for torture, murder of his girlfriend

February 13

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Wednesday (Feb. 13, 2008) that a man who brutally beat his girlfriend to death inside his Joliet Township apartment over an extended period in July 2005 has been sentenced to 78 years in prison.

John Hall, 33, of the Preston Heights area of Joliet Township, was convicted in September 2007 of first-degree murder, concealing a homicidal death and arson. Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes handed down the sentence on Wednesday afternoon.

Hall, a local drug dealer and rap musician who went by the name of Spiderman, attempted to conceal the murder by burning his victim’s body on a wood pile in a rural area in Kankakee County. He also destroyed physical evidence of his crime by torching the apartment where he killed 20-year-old Rose Bailey.

Testimony during the week-long trial revealed that Hall beat Bailey, struck her in the head with a clothes iron, slammed her fingers in a door hinge and tied her up with speaker wire and put her in his bathtub. Hall was angry with Bailey because she took between $100 and $120 from him. The beating occurred at his apartment on Zarley Boulevard overnight on July 1, 2005.

“This was a horrific murder committed by a sadistic killer, who tortured a defenseless young woman and viciously beat her to death,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “The sentence John Hall received today ensures that this vile monster will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.”

One of Hall’s girlfriends testified during the trial that she was in the apartment on the night Bailey was killed and was present when he beat her for hours and struck her with the iron. Hall refused to allow her to help Bailey and rejected her plea to take the dying victim to the hospital. Hall also threatened to harm the witness and her family if she told anyone about the beating.

Another of Hall’s girlfriend’s testified that she had been beaten by Hall and burned on her back with a clothes iron. And yet another girlfriend testified that Hall beat her in a liquor store parking lot and broke her nose. 

Glasgow credited his assistant state’s attorneys – lead prosecutor Dede Osterberger, Jessica Colon-Sayre and Chris Messina – for their expert trial work that secured a conviction and a lengthy sentence that protects the public. Glasgow also praised the Will County Sheriff’s Department for a first-rate investigation that brought a killer to justice.

Will County Drug Court to graduate 10 people who kicked their addictions on Feb. 14

February 7

JOLIET – Ten people who were facing criminal charges stemming from their drug abuse have kicked their addictions and will graduate from the Will County Drug Court Program during a ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago St. The public is invited to attend.

The Will County Drug Court Program helps drug abusers who have committed non-violent offenses break their addictions. The program then integrates them back into their communities as productive, tax-paying citizens. Next week’s ceremony will bring the  number of graduates to 187 since the program’s inception in 2000.

Will County Drug Court boasts a remarkable success rate. Ninety-two percent of those who have graduated from the local Drug Court have gone on to lead productive, drug-free lives. Only 8 percent of those graduates have committed new criminal offenses.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow spearheaded the development of the local Drug Court Program more than a decade ago. In 1997, the state’s attorney wrote a $30,000 planning grant application that was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Two years later, the Department of Justice Awarded approved a $500,000 start-up grant for the program that was supplemented by a $50,000 state grant.

“Our Drug Court succeeds on two critical fronts,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “On one level, the program provides the necessary treatment and counseling services to help non-violent offenders kick the addictions that drove them to commit their crimes in the first place. On a larger scale, this program helps the entire community by turning around the lives of people who once had been a financial burden on society. Everyone benefits when former addicts stop committing crimes and become productive citizens who hold jobs, pursue educations, own homes, raise families and pay taxes.”

In Drug Court, prosecutors and defense attorneys work with the judge and treatment providers to help abusers kick their addictions. The program is a cost-effective alternative to dumping non-violent drug offenders into state prisons, where they cycle in and out of the system at recidivism rates as high as 70 percent.

The cost of operating the Will County Drug Court is a fraction of what it costs taxpayers to arrest, prosecute and house non-violent offenders in state prisons. It costs roughly $3,000 to put a person through Drug Court. By contrast, it costs taxpayers annually more than $33,000 for each prisoner housed at the Will County Adult Detention Facility and more than $23,000 for those housed in state prisons.

Drug Court is a tough and intensive process. Defendants allowed into the program are carefully screened. They must remain drug free, submit to random drug tests, find employment, follow through with treatment and attend weekly Drug Court sessions if they are to graduate.

Drug Court graduation ceremonies are often emotional events. Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes, who presides over Drug Court, introduces graduates individually and discusses how the program helped them clean up their lives. Graduates are supported by their family and friends. 

“Drug Court graduations are touching experiences,” Judge Policandriotes said. “These graduates have worked hard to complete a tough program that turned their lives around. They already have proven they can remain drug-free, complete their education and hold down a job. The graduation ceremony validates and confirms their commitment to their new, drug-free lives.”

For more information on Drug Court, go to and click on Crime Prevention.

Cold Case Task Force cracks 19-year-old homicide; murder charges filed in connection with 1989 death of Ana Sanders

February 6

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Joliet Police Chief Fred Hayes announce that an investigation by their combined Cold Case Task Force has resulted in the filing of murder charges against a former Joliet man in connection with the 1989 stabbing death of a 54-year-old woman.

Terrance Cole, 37, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Wednesday afternoon. He is accused of stabbing Ana L. Sanders to death in her apartment at 1013 Lois Place.

The victim’s body was discovered on April 11, 1989 by an apartment maintenance worker who was asked to conduct a wellness check on the tenant after she did not show up for work. Sanders, who suffered multiple stab wounds, was found on the living room floor of her third-floor apartment.

Cole already was in the Will County Jail Wednesday awaiting trial on charges stemming from a 2005 home invasion when State’s Attorney Glasgow filed murder charges against him. Prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant with a $1 million bond on the murder charges.

The Cold Case Task Force linked Cole to Sanders’ murder through DNA evidence collected at the crime scene back in 1989. The task force is investigating unsolved murders, some of which date back decades when the technology to analyze DNA evidence did not exist.

The Cold Case Task Force, a partnership between the Joliet Police Department and the Will County State’s Attorney’s office, was established in 2005 through a $455,000 federal grant from the National Institute of Justice. The grant provides funding for DNA testing and for the Joliet Police Department to pay investigators and evidence technicians overtime to review unsolved cases. It also provides funding for an assistant state’s attorney and a victim advocate. 

“I’ve worked with our local police for more than two decades, and I know the dedicated detectives who investigate brutal homicides refuse to accept the possibility that a violent murderer will never be caught,” Glasgow said. “The Cold Case Task has enabled us to turn up the heat in this case, and we were able to link Terrance Cole to the murder of Ana Sanders.”

Chief Hayes stated: “In spite of the fact that 19 years have passed since his horrific crime, the Joliet Police Department remained vigilant and committed to solving this case. The advancement in DNA technology continues to enable law enforcement to solve some of the most violent crimes and bring the offenders to justice. The Cold Case Task Force is extremely successful with their mission. The outstanding investigative work performed by Joliet Police Detective Phil Valera working closing with Assistant State’s Attorney Mike Fitzgerald played a vital role in the arrest of this offender.”

The Cold Case Task Force last year also connected Cole to a violent home invasion that occurred on June 12, 2005. Cole is accused of beating an elderly couple after sneaking through the open overhead door of their attached garage on Joliet’s West Side.

The Task Force linked Cole to the home invasion through DNA samples taken from a beer can that was found inside the house. The sample was matched to Cole when it was entered into the Combined DNA Index System. Cole gave a DNA sample when he entered the prison system.

Cole had been serving time at Dixon Correctional Center last year for a battery to a police officer and possession of controlled substance in an unrelated case when Glasgow filed the home invasion charges against him in June 2007.

Joliet detectives drove to Dixon on July 2, 2007 and arrested Cole on the home invasion charge shortly before he was scheduled to be released from the prison. The Joliet detectives immediately transported Cole to the Will County Jail on a warrant with $300,000 bond.

Home invasion is a Class X felony that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison upon conviction. Probation is not a sentencing option.

Joliet Detectives Carlos Matlock, Phil Valera and Dave Jackson investigated the home invasion and murder cases. Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Fitzgerald reviewed the murder case and consulted with Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Delaney and Joliet detectives prior to charging.

Last year, the task force also solved the 1994 murder of Linda Dooley, who was found shot to death in her car outside a hotel parking lot in Joliet. This murder happened in broad daylight shortly after she had left a local department store. DNA evidence collected at the scene linked a drifter, Percy E. Cooksey III, to the crime.

When that case was solved, Cooksey already had died in a Missouri prison while serving time for an unrelated crime. The resolution of this case, however, was critical because it brought closure to Linda Dooley’s family and assurances to the community that a violent killer no longer was at large.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Man gets life sentence for killing mother, 4-year-old daughter; case closed on tragic 2005 firebombing in Joliet

January 31

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in a firebombing that killed a mother and her 4-year-old daughter.

Ignacio Jacobo, 21, is the third and final defendant to be sentenced in connection with the tragic firebombing that shocked Joliet’s St. Patrick’s Neighborhood in April 2005. Jacobo is the second defendant to receive a life sentence with no possibility for release in this case.

Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt sentenced Jacobo on Thursday.

Jacobo was convicted in September on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated arson. He threw a rock through the first-floor window of a house at 419 Madeline St. in the early-morning hours of April 9, 2005. A second defendant, Juan Santana, 28, threw a firebomb through the broken window.

A fire spread quickly through the two-story house. Maria DeLourdes Nunez, 35, and her young daughter, Merary Nunez, died from smoke inhalation in an upstairs bedroom.

Firefighters found Nunez lying on top of Merary in what they believe was a desperate attempt to protect her daughter from the smoke and fire that engulfed the house. Both Nunez and her daughter were dead by the time rescuers reached them.

In 2006, Santana was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murders. In December, Sergio Anguiano, 24, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for driving Santana and Jacobo to the St. Patrick’s Neighborhood on the night of the firebombing.

Anguiano, who testified for the state against the two codefendants, was not aware of his codefendants’ plans and did not see the firebombing. In exchange for his truthful testimony, Anguiano was allowed to enter a blind plead of guilty to a charge of aggravated arson.

Testimony during Jacobo’s trial revealed that the two men firebombed the house because they believed one of Merary’s older brothers belonged to a rival gang. The brother, who was 14 at the time of the firebombing, testified he was a “pretend” gang member.

“Ignacio Jacobo is going to prison for the rest of his life for an irrational act of lethal brutality that was aimed at a 14-year-old boy but claimed the lives of an innocent little girl and her mother instead,” Glasgow said.

The state’s attorney grew up in the St. Patrick’s Neighborhood. He visited the site of the firebombing in 2005 and met with neighborhood residents. As a youth, he played in the house next door. 

“Gang violence tragically altered this once safe haven,” Glasgow said. “However, we fought back hard as a community. Hopefully, this sentence will bring closure to the victims’ family and return a sense of peace and order to the entire St. Patrick’s Neighborhood.”

Glasgow praised the Joliet Police Department for a brilliant and dogged investigation that ultimately brought these cold-blooded killers to justice. The department tracked one of the fleeing suspects in this case all the way to Colorado.

He also credited two of his top prosecutors, First Assistant State’s Attorney Greg DeBord and Criminal Division Chief Lea Norbut, for top-notch trial work that secured life sentences for Santana and Jacobo along with a guilty plea and a 20-year sentence for Anguiano.

Peotone park director charged with theft, forgery, official misconduct

January 25

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that his office has filed theft, forgery and official misconduct charges against the director of the Peotone Park District.

Robert “Randy” Cross, 53, of 117 E. Crawford St., Peotone, was arrested earlier this week on a $3,000 warrant from Florida for failure to pay child support. Cross was in the Will County Jail late Friday when he was charged with one count each of theft, forgery and official misconduct.

The theft charge is a Class 2 felony that alleges Cross stole in excess of $10,000 from park district funds. The forgery charge is a Class 3 felony that alleges he signed a park official’s name on a $564.31 park district check that was payable to himself. The official misconduct charge is a Class 3 felony that alleges he committed theft while acting in his official capacity  as a park district employee.

Circuit Judge Sarah Jones late Friday signed an arrest warrant setting bail at $500,000. Cross must post 10 percent, or $50,000, to secure his release while awaiting trial. 

The Peotone Police Department initiated an investigation into missing park district funds earlier this week. However, Peotone Police Chief Bill Mort turned the investigation over to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office because he is acquainted with the defendant in this case.

“Chief Mort acted in the best interests of the park district’s citizens and his department by sending the investigation to an outside agency to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said.

Detectives Daniel Procarione and Dean Morelli of the state’s attorney’s office launched an investigation early Friday and presented their findings to Glasgow and Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Koch for review. Glasgow recently appointed Koch to head a Financial Crimes Prosecution Unit in the state’s attorney’s office. Charges against Cross were filed Friday evening.

The ongoing investigation has had an impact on Peotone Park District operations. Park facilities are closed and park programs have been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Statement on the status of Stacy Peterson, Kathleen Savio investigations The following is a statement from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office regarding the status of the Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio investigations:

January 24

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office has been working closely with the Illinois State Police Investigative Task Forces that are investigating the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and the death of Kathleen Savio. The task forces have notified the state’s attorney’s office that they have investigated more than 1,900 tips and leads since this investigation began in late October. The task forces continue to investigate these top priority cases utilizing all available resources.

At the same time, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office has convened a Special Grand Jury to investigate Stacy Peterson’s disappearance and Kathleen Savio’s death. The Special Grand Jury was convened in November and is in session and working each Thursday. It will continue to meet for roughly the next four months with an option to extend its service for another six-month term should that become necessary. 

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office remains confident that justice will be served at the conclusion of these methodical and disciplined investigations.

Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Stacy Peterson or the death of Kathleen Savio is asked to contact the Illinois State Police Investigative Task Forces Office at (815) 740-0678 or e-mail the office at

Local assistant state’s attorney to take leadership role on newly created Black Bar Association of Will County

January 23

JOLIET – Assistant State’s Attorney Masah SamForay Johnson of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office was recently elected to the Executive Board of the newly formed Black Bar Association of Will County.

SamForay Johnson, who joined the state’s attorney’s office in 2006, will serve as the association’s General Secretary for 2008-2009. She currently is an assistant state’s attorney who prosecutes domestic violence cases.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow offered his congratulations to SamForay Johnson on her election and wished the Black Bar Association of Will County every success.

“It is an encouraging testament to Will County’s diversity that the number of African American attorneys who practice law locally is growing and that this organization will address the needs of our African American community,” Glasgow said. “I am particularly pleased that Masah SamForay Johnson is taking a leadership role in the new bar association. She is a sharp and energetic young attorney who works effectively on what is historically a difficult court call. I wish her well in her leadership position with the Black Bar Association of Will County.”

Will Court program captures more than $1.25 million in revenues

January 11

Pamela J. McGuire, Will County Circuit Clerk
14 West Jefferson St.-Joliet, Illinois 60432

For More Information contact:

Pam McGuire, Circuit Clerk Lynette Shea,
Administrative Asst.
(815) 740-8045

JOLIET — Will County Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire reports that her office has retrieved more than $1.25 million in revenue for Will County and several of its municipalities thanks to a program recently enacted by her office in partnership with Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Will County Executive Larry Walsh.

The state’s attorney and the circuit clerk entered into a contract with Harris and Harris Ltd. and the law offices of Arnold Scott Harris to collect past-due court fines and fees owed by criminal defendants and ordinance violators. County Executive Walsh and his staff first brought the proposal to hire a collections agency to the Will County Board in the spring of 2005.

The circuit clerk’s office worked with Harris and Harris during the first months of 2007 to fine-tune the collections program before bringing it on line May 24, 2007. In the first seven months, the program has collected $1,252,992.60. Prior to enacting this program, the debts would have gone uncollected.

Scofflaws also must pay all the costs associated with the collection process. The county incurs no costs for operating the program. Prior to enacting this program, these debts would have gone uncollected.

“It is a get-tough answer to a long-standing problem,” Circuit Clerk McGuire stated. “There are millions of dollars in past-due court debts dating back several decades. In 2005 alone, convicted defendants attempted to ignore nearly $1.7 million in fees and fines” 

McGuire reports that Will County received $557,130 in revenue through the program. Other municipalities also have benefited, among them: Bolingbrook, $58,413; Joliet, $135,095; Plainfield, $30,960; and the Village of Romeoville $40,501. 

“This collection effort is succeeding on two key fronts,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “It already has captured significant funding for Will County and its municipalities at a time when all budgets are tight. In addition, we are sending a message to defendants in Will County that they no longer can simply refuse to pay their fines and fees without consequence. Our expectation is that more people will begin paying on time.”

County Executive Walsh said the collections program demonstrates how communication and cooperation between several of the county’s top officials is benefiting taxpayers.

“It’s all about accountability and collaboration for the benefit of Will County,” Walsh said. “Because of these factors, along with the hard work of the Circuit Clerk’s Office, this initiative is seeing great success. I’m extremely pleased by the program’s outcome so far. The great thing is that by collecting more than $1million in past-due debts, the county and local municipalities are able to enjoy additional funding for their budgets without asking our citizens for a tax increase.” 

McGuire said getting the program off the ground in her office required a great deal of teamwork on the part of her staff.

“This collection effort has required a massive effort by the Circuit Clerk’s office”, McGuire explained. “I want to thank the hard work and effort of my computer staff, managers, Finance Division and numerous clerks in undertaking this collection initiative. They have worked extra hours while still performing their daily functions with an exploding caseload, maintaining excellent customer service and efficiencies during this process”. 

Harris and Harris was selected as the collections agency last year for numerous reasons: 

  • The company currently provides this service for circuit clerks in both Cook and DuPage counties and comes highly recommended by officials from both counties. 
  • The collections business is affiliated with a respected Chicago legal firm, thereby ensuring a legal and ethical approach to retrieving past-due debts. 
  • The contract allows for the monitoring of collections activities over the Internet in real time, allowing Will County officials to make certain the county is being professionally represented and that those who are contacted about past-due debts are treated respectfully. 
  • Harris and Harris is in the Chicago area. All other candidates were based out-of-state. 
  • The team of professionals designated by Harris and Harris to service the contract exhibited an extensive background of experience and knowledge.  

The company helped to draft recent state legislation that enabled counties to add a small fee on top of past-due fines or judgments for collections purposes. The company is paid through the fee, which means local governments receive 100 percent of any past-due money that is collected.

In addition to the $1.25 million captured through the collection process, the Circuit Clerk’s Office has generated an additional $485,414.94 in interest revenue in FY2007 for the County of Will. 

McGuire, Glasgow and Walsh all noted that the majority of the people who are fined by our local courts pay their debts promptly. This program is necessary to collect fines from those who attempt to shirk their court-ordered financial obligations.