Charges filed in Romeoville murder case

JOLIET – The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office today filed two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death against John Sadler, 67, of 1619 Benzie Circle, Romeoville.

The murder charges allege that between July 15, 2010 and July 26, 2010 Mr. Sadler struck his wife Caroline Sadler in the head with a hammer and caused her death. The concealment charge alleges he kept her body in his residence for numerous days telling police on more than one occasion that Caroline Sadler was not at the residence.

Bond was set at $3 million, 10 percent to apply. Mr. Sadler must post $300,000 to secure his release while awaiting trial. A preliminary hearing or arraignment date has been scheduled for 9 a.m., Aug. 24 in Courtroom 405 of the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St.

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.

Joliet man convicted of murder after shooting mother to death in front of her daughter

July 22

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today (Thursday, July 22, 2010) that a jury has found a Joliet man guilty of gunning down a woman in front of her daughter in December 2008.

Anthony Matthews, 47, was found guilty of first-degree murder for the killing of LaDeana Hite in the early-morning hours of Dec. 14, 2008.

Matthews also was found guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting LaDeana Hite’s friend, Jeanette Morgan, in the stomach. Morgan survived and testified against Matthews during the 1-1/2 week trial.

The defendant also pointed the gun at Hite’s daughter and pulled the trigger while the girl was on her bed and shielding her body with a pillow, according to trial testimony. She survived because Matthews’ gun failed to fire.

Matthews faces 51 years to life in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Stephen White on Sept. 16.

“Anthony Matthews is a vicious thug who killed one woman in cold blood, callously shot another woman and then tried to gun down a girl as she cowered behind her pillow and begged for her life,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “The streets of Will County will be safer with him behind bars.”

Matthews was smoking crack cocaine with Hite and Morgan at Hite’s house in the 200 block of Champlain in Joliet Township when he became agitated and accused the two women of stealing his drugs. Hite’s daughter was sleeping in her bedroom at the time.

Hite told Matthews to leave, but he refused. She rushed into her daughter’s bedroom to hide from Matthews, who stepped into the kitchen and shot Morgan in the stomach. Matthews then kicked in the bedroom door and gunned down Hite while her daughter watched, according to testimony.

Morgan fled the house and sought help at a house on another block. Hite’s daughter also fled after Matthews left her bedroom because he couldn’t get his 9mm gun to fire, according to testimony.

An unfired cartridge retrieved from the scene had Matthews’ DNA on it. Matthews fled the scene after the shooting, but he was arrested in the vicinity a short time later by Will County Sheriff’s Police. The murder weapon was not recovered.

State’s Attorney Glasgow praised Assistant State’s Attorneys Chris Koch and Anna Rossi for working around-the-clock preparing for this trial.

“Their tireless preparation and expert trial work secured the conviction of this dangerous criminal,” the state’s attorney said.

Man found guilty in 2008 Naperville murder-robbery

July 15

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today (Thursday, July 15, 2010) that the last of five defendants involved in an armed robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a Naperville man has been convicted of murder.

A jury found Reginald Chandler-Martin, 23, of Aurora, guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion in connection with the shooting death of John D. Rosales on April 1, 2008.

Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt is scheduled to sentence Chandler-Martin on July 29.

The defendant was one of two armed men who forced their way into the victim’s residence at 2511 Sheehan in Naperville in a botched attempt to steal cocaine, marijuana and money from the residence. Chandler-Martin ordered everyone in the residence to get down. His accomplice, Tyrell Jackson, 23, shot Rosales in the neck.

Jackson, 22, of Villa Park, was found guilty of first-degree murder by Judge Schoenstedt in May at the conclusion of a bench trial. He is awaiting sentencing.

Two other Aurora men, Cherrod Moore, 29, and Courtney Mayes, 23, also were found guilty in November of first-degree murder by Judge Schoenstedt following a bench trial. The two were inside men who helped plan the robbery. They both were in the residence playing video games when Jackson and Chandler-Martin stormed through the door.

Moore and Mayes initially told Naperville Police they were innocent bystanders. Later, in separate interviews, both admitted they met with the other defendants to plan the robbery. They were each sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A fifth defendant, Justin Harper, 22, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and has cooperated with the prosecution. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Harper supplied the guns that were used in the robbery.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Steve Platek and Michael Knick prosecuted the case against Chandler-Martin.

Joliet man gets 10 years for sexually abusing teenager

July 14

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man who was found guilty of sexually abusing a teen-age girl in 2007 and 2008 has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Leon Franklin, 38, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in September 2009. The jury deliberated for less than 20 minutes before returning with a guilty verdict.

Judge Robert Livas sentenced Franklin on Tuesday (July 13, 2010) to five years in prison for each count to run consecutively for a total of 10 years.

Franklin sexually abused the girl, who was 16 at the time, on two occasions, once in December 2007 and once in February 2008. The victim was in the care of an adult family friend when the sexual abuse occurred. Franklin was living at the residence at the time.

The family friend arrived home to find Franklin partially undressed shortly after one incident, and she contacted police. During an interview by a specialist at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, the victim reported the other occasion during which she was sexually abused.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Chris Messina and Derek Ewanic prosecuted the case.

Bolingbrook man gets 76 years for sexually assaulting little girl

July 14

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Bolingbrook man who repeatedly sexually assaulted a 10-year-old family member in 2007 was sentenced to 76 years in prison today (Wednesday, July 14, 2010).

Coy Russell, 40, was convicted in December of three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X Felony. Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes sentenced Russell. He must serve 85 percent of that sentence before he will be eligible for parole. 

Russell sexually assaulted the girl on three occasions between May 1, 2007 and Aug. 23, 2007. However, testimony by the victim at trial revealed she had been assaulted on even more occasions. The abuse occurred in an upstairs bedroom while other children were in or around the house.

“Coy Russell is a brazen degenerate who will spend the rest of his life in prison where he can never harm another innocent child,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Although the damage from these vile assaults can never be undone, this sentence puts every child predator on notice that justice in Will County is relentless and unforgiving.”

Assistant State’s Attorneys Matt Guzman and Christine Vukmir prosecuted the case. The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, which Glasgow established in 1995 to investigate child sexual abuse cases, interviewed the victim and recorded her statement, which also was played at the trial.

ADVISORY: State’s Attorney Glasgow Files Appeal in Peterson Case Press Briefing: 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, July 7 Will County State’s Attorney’s Office 121 N. Chicago Street, Joliet

July 17

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today (Wednesday, July 7, 2010) that he will appeal Judge Stephen White’s Tuesday, July 6 ruling regarding which statements will be allowed into evidence under the hearsay exception in the Drew Peterson trial.

State’s Attorney Glasgow filed his notice of appeal on Wednesday in Will County Circuit Court. The State’s Attorney made the final decision to appeal after extensive consultation and deliberation with his trial team as well as with the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. The appeal will delay the start of the trial, which was scheduled to begin on Thursday with jury selection.

State’s Attorney Glasgow will ask the Third District Appellate Court to consider Judge White’s ruling in light of a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling in People v. Hanson, a death-penalty case from DuPage County. In Hanson, the Illinois Supreme Court carefully discussed issues with regard to applying the hearsay exception and stated that “we now expressly recognize that the doctrine (of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing) serves both as an exception to the hearsay rule and to extinguish confrontation clause claims.”

Before making his decision to appeal, State’s Attorney Glasgow also discussed the Hanson ruling with DuPage County State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett, whose office prosecuted the Hanson case.

In light of the new law contained in Hanson, State’s Attorney Glasgow believes the prosecution is entitled to present hearsay statements at Drew Peterson’s murder trial.

“The people of the state of Illinois are entitled to a fair trial, and I intend to see that they get one,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “As State’s Attorney, I am obligated to appeal the judge’s ruling to ensure that every legally admissible statement may be presented at trial.”

The Illinois Supreme Court issued its ruling in Hanson on June 24. State’s Attorney Glasgow respectfully asked Judge White to consider his hearsay ruling in the Peterson case in light of Hanson on Wednesday, June 30. A hearing was conducted on the motion to consider Hanson on Friday, July 2. Judge White denied the motion on Tuesday afternoon, July 6.

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.

Joliet man found guilty in 2001 slaying

July 2

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a jury late Thursday (July 1, 2010) found a Joliet man guilty of murder in the 2001 slaying of 24-year-old Darnell Washington.

The jury found Paul Quintero, 33, guilty of shooting Washington multiple times in the side of his face on November 2, 2001. The victim’s body was discovered on the side of Farrell Road near U.S. 6. A sport utility vehicle Washington had been driving the evening he was killed had been torched and was found near McDonough Street and Joyce Road.

Quintero is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 1. The only possible penalty under the law is natural life in prison. 

Quintero currently is serving a 38-year prison sentence for the 2000 shooting death of Michael Ceja in Joliet. The Ceja murder was still under investigation when Quintero killed Washington in November 2001. State’s Attorney Glasgow obtained a murder indictment against Quintero in 2006 in the Washington case. The prior state’s attorney had refused to prosecute Quintero for the Washington murder. 

Glasgow praised Assistant State’s Attorneys Jim Long and Adam Capelli for their skillful trial work.

“It took years of hard work on the part of law enforcement to bring Paul Quintero to justice for this brutal murder,” Glasgow said. “It is my sincere hope that the Washington family will finally find closure and rest assured that their son’s murderer will spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

Washington was driving a sport utility vehicle in which Quintero was a passenger. Quintero asked Washington to pull over on Farrell Road so he could urinate. After he stepped outside, Quintero reached through the passenger window and opened fire on Washington.

Will County prosecutor Tina Filipiak honored as State’s Attorney of Year by Illinois State Crime Commission

June 16

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that Tina Filipiak, the longtime chief of his Juvenile Division, was named 2010 State’s Attorney of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission.

The Crime Commission honored Filipiak at its Fourteenth Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 15 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. She was among a dozen leaders from throughout Illinois in the areas of law enforcement, government and business who were honored for their outstanding contributions to their communities.

State’s Attorney Glasgow nominated Filipiak for the honor because of the many years of dedicated and expert leadership she has provided to a team of prosecutors who grapple with the circuit court’s most difficult and sensitive cases.

Filipiak supervises the prosecution of all criminal cases involving anyone under the age of 17 in Will County. Her division also prosecutes parents who abuse or neglect their children. In serious abuse and neglect cases, she litigates the termination of parental rights. The Juvenile Division also oversees Juvenile Drug Court, which helps young people cope with addictions to illegal drugs and assists them with education and counseling. 

“Tina is a compassionate and committed prosecutor who completely understands the high stakes for the young defendants and the families who appear on her call each and every day,” Glasgow said. “Her heartfelt dedication to the juvenile justice process is unprecedented. She has performed tremendous work over the years to shield children from abuse and safeguard the integrity of our families. Through her skillful leadership in Juvenile Court, Tina has balanced the necessities of protecting our community from the most dangerous offenders with our responsibility to place eligible young defendants on the path to becoming productive citizens.”

At Tuesday’s awards dinner, Filipiak, a Joliet resident, thanked the Illinois State Crime Commission for the honor. 

“Because of the important work the Crime Commission performs on behalf of children, I am confident that we will leave behind a better world for my daughter when she grows up,” Filipiak said. “I also want to thank State’s Attorney Glasgow for nominating me for this honor and for allowing me to lead his Juvenile Division for all of these years. This isn’t just job, it’s a career. I truly love coming to work every day.”

Among the distinguished guests honored with Filipiak was Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. In receiving this award, Filipiak also joins State’s Attorney Glasgow, who twice has been named State’s Attorney of the Year by the Crime Commission in 1996 and in 2008.

Will County Drug Court coordinators honored for original essays during national conference

June 15

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that two of his employees who are instrumental in the operation of the Will County Drug Court Program were recently honored during a national conference hosted by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP).

The NADCP sponsored an essay contest inviting members to explain what the “All Rise Philosophy” means to their drug court programs. Will County Drug Court Coordinator Julie McCabe-Sterr and Drug Court Case Manager Jason Florin both submitted essays that were selected by a panel of judges as two of the five national contest winners.

McCabe-Sterr’s essay was selected as the first-place winner of the contest. She presented her essay at the NADCP 16th Annual Training Conference, which was held earlier this month in Boston.

Will County Drug Court is an intensive program designed to integrate drug abusers who have committed non-violent offenses back into the community by helping them break their addictions. Defendants allowed into the program must remain drug-free, submit to random drug tests, find employment, complete counseling and treatment and attend weekly drug court sessions if they are to graduate.

Since the program’s inception in 2000, more than 200 clients have graduated from Will County Drug Court free of their addictions and prepared to become functioning members of society. State’s Attorney Glasgow spearheaded the development of the local drug court in the late 1990s when he applied for and received both federal and state grant funding to launch the program.

“Julie and Jason are dedicated and compassionate professionals who understand the importance of the drug court program to those who are fighting their addictions as well as to our community,” Glasgow said. “The court not only turns around the lives of its participants, it saves taxpayers thousands upon thousands of dollars each year in costs associated with repeatedly arresting, detaining, prosecuting and incarcerating people whose non-violent crimes are driven by their addictions.”

The “All Rise Philosophy” is part of the NADCP’s public education initiative to raise awareness of how rehabilitation is a more effective solution than imprisonment for qualifying addicts. 

“When a court is not constrained by convention and dares to dream, we all rise,” McCabe-Sterr wrote in her essay. In her narrative, she describes the struggles the Will County Drug Court program faced in launching a recovery home that will provide additional services to clients who are fighting to break their addictions.

Florin’s essay recounts the story of Michael L., a drug court client who overcame many obstacles before successfully completing the program. “Michael went before the judge one final time to receive his graduation plaque and to hear those wonderful words: that his case had been dismissed. His applause was the loudest that day.”

Drunken driver gets 9 years for causing 2008 wreck that seriously injured 14-year-old girl, 11-year-old boy

May 21

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a Monee man has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for causing a drunken driving wreck that left two children horrifically injured.

Craig Smart, 22, of the 27800 block of South Kedzie, pleaded guilty on March 8 to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence in connection with the collision on July 19, 2008 on U.S. 45 near Peotone. Associate Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Smart on Friday afternoon.

Smart was driving a white Ford pickup truck that slammed into a van driven by a Champaign couple. They were returning home from O’Hare International Airport with their two children, who were ages 14 and 11 at the time. Smart’s truck rammed their van on the passenger side, causing it to flip on its side and skid to halt on the highway’s shoulder.

Smart told police he had been drinking with friends earlier in the evening. His blood-alcohol level tested at .10. He also tested positive for marijuana and a number of other prescription drugs that contained warnings not to use with alcohol. 

The father and mother were not seriously injured. However, their 11-year-old son, who was in a rear seat, suffered massive head trauma. He was transferred to Loyola Medical Center, where he underwent multiple surgeries in the following weeks and months. Surgeons eventually were forced to remove his right eye, which was damaged in the wreck. 

Their 14-year-old daughter also suffered injuries to her right foot. The skin, tendons, connective tissue and ligaments were ripped to the bone in the crash from the middle of her foot to above the ankle. She also underwent multiple surgeries, but her injuries are permanent and will prevent her from playing the sports she loved, including basketball, soccer and track.

“Two innocent children have been forced to pay a horrible price for Craig Smart’s selfish decision to drive his pickup truck while he was drunk,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “The injuries he caused were catastrophic and life-changing. He should spend every minute of his time in prison reflecting on the appalling harm he inflicted on this good family.”

Assistant State’s Attorneys Sara Shutts and Debbie Mills prosecuted Smart and argued at sentencing Friday that a substantial prison term was necessary to deter others from drinking and driving. The Illinois State Police investigated the case.