July 26

JOLIET – The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office is releasing the following statement regarding the 3rd District Appellate Court ruling in the Drew Peterson case:  

The Will County State’s Attorney’s office strongly disagrees with the majority ruling in the Drew Peterson appeal.  We believe that Justice Carter, in his dissenting opinion, correctly analyzed the legal issues in the appeal.  Specifically, Justice Carter held that our appeal was timely filed.  Furthermore, Justice Carter states:  

“The majority ruling is erroneous and irremediably flawed because it assumes a proposition that it cannot support.”  

He clearly points out the critical issue at stake here in stating:  

“I do not agree with the majority’s suggestion that the State and the court should be bound at trial by a manifestly erroneous ruling that contravenes a June 2010 decision from our supreme court.”  (People v. Hanson, 238 Ill.2d 74, 99 (2010).

The Will County State’s Attorney’s office continues to review the ruling and will make a decision about whether it will file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court. 

Will County Drug Court brings new prosecutor, State’s Attorney Glasgow full circle

Elizabeth Johnson

ASA Elizabeth Johnson

JOLIET – Eleven years ago, 18-year-old Elizabeth Johnson’s lifelong dream of becoming an attorney nearly went up in smoke.

She had fallen in with a bad crowd and was hanging around a drug house that had been targeted by police. She was abusing marijuana and on the verge of graduating to harder drugs. And she 

Facts About Drug Courts

● Nationwide, 75 percent of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.*

● Drug Courts reduce crime by as much as 45 percent compared to traditional sentences.* 

● Nationwide, Drug Courts save as much as $27 for every $1 invested when considering only direct and measureable offsets such as reduced re-arrests, law enforcement contacts, court hearings and the use of jail or prison beds.*

● Drug Courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve.* 

● In Will County Drug Court, defendants plead guilty upfront, but criminal charges are dropped if they complete the intensive program. They must remain drug free, submit to random drug tests, find work, follow through with treatment and attend weekly counseling sessions. Most Drug Court defendants would be eligible for less intensive probation in a traditional court. They take a tremendous risk when they choose Drug Court, because failure can mean a prison sentence.**

● More than 250 people have successfully completed the Will County Drug Court Program.**

● The three-year success rate for the Will County Drug Court is 96 percent. This means that defendants who completed the program over the past three years remained arrest-free in Will County.

● Will County Drug Court is believed to be the only program in the nation to open and operate a recovery home. The home houses men who are nearing completion of the program. A home for women is in the planning stages. The existing home is named The Miller Taylor House after one of the Will County Drug Court’s first graduates.**


* National Association of Drug Court Professionals 
** Will County Drug Court
had been arrested for felony disorderly conduct as a result of the time she was spending with her drug-abusing “friends.”

Life was spinning out of control. And she knew a felony conviction would prevent her from attending law school and becoming a lawyer. It had been her dream career since she was a girl and she would dress up with an old brief case while pretending to be in court.

Johnson, however, was offered a second chance when she was allowed to participate in a fledgling Drug Court program spearheaded by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.  The program helped her clean up her life and avoid a felony conviction that would have dogged her job search forever, resulting in a life of professional disappointments and closed doors.

In the ultimate validation for the program, State’s Attorney Glasgow, the same prosecutor whose office filed the felony charge against her when she was a teenager, recently welcomed her back to his office, this time as a new assistant state’s attorney in his Misdemeanor Division.

This month, Assistant State’s Attorney Johnson will tell her success story at the annual conference hosted by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in Washington. She also is scheduled to testify before the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee about the effectiveness of Drug Courts.

“Elizabeth Johnson made some bad decisions that could have cost her the career she loves before she even graduated from high school,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Our Drug Court Program put her on a straight-and-narrow path. Ironically, that path has come full circle. Thanks to Drug Court and her hard work, I was proud to bring Elizabeth on board as an assistant state’s attorney with my office.”

Drug Courts are designed to integrate drug abusers back into the community by helping them break the addictions that drove them to commit non-violent offenses. Defendants plead guilty upfront with the agreement charges will be dropped if they complete the program and stay clean. In Drug Court, defendants must remain drug free, submit to random drug tests, find work, follow through with treatment and attend weekly sessions if they are to graduate.

Johnson’s experience illustrates the program’s potential for success. As a teen in her hometown of Morris, Ill., she was an honors student. But she began running with the wrong crowd and started smoking marijuana at a drug house in nearby Joliet, Ill. In 2000, while police questioned her about illegal activities at the house, she gave false information about an armed robbery and kidnapping, neither of which had occurred. She was charged with felony disorderly conduct. 

Her attorney saw the connection between her drug use and her crime and sought to enroll his client in Will County’s new Drug Court. Johnson seized the opportunity. “I was in a downward spiral,” she conceded. “I was smoking marijuana, but I could see myself sinking lower with this crowd. I knew I would start using harder drugs and landing in more trouble.”

In Drug Court, she disassociated herself from the group, attended outpatient sessions and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. She also began taking courses at Joliet Junior College. She transferred to Northern Illinois University and received a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on pre-law. She was later accepted to John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where she graduated in May 2010.

While in law school, she made the courageous decision to apply for a legal internship with the office that once had prosecuted her. “It was intimidating,” she admitted. “I would have rather buried my past. With so many good things happening in my life, I didn’t want to look back.”

State’s Attorney Glasgow gave her a chance, and based on her performance as an intern, he eventually offered her a position as a misdemeanor prosecutor. “This is a phenomenal story of dedication and hard work,” he said. “But it’s important to remember that no matter how hard she was willing to work, she wouldn’t have gotten her foot in the door at John Marshall Law School, much less with this office, with a felony conviction on her record.”

Johnson still lives in Morris where she is raising her young daughter. She is a member of First Assembly of God Church in Joliet, where she coordinates a prayer team and teaches Bible study. At the State’s Attorney’s Office, the initial trepidation she felt as an intern has faded.“At first I felt like I didn’t deserve to be here. I felt like I was riding on God’s grace,” she said. “But once I started doing the work, I fell in love with the job and the team atmosphere. People went out of their way to help me as an intern. It was a great learning experience. Now I look forward to a long and rewarding career.” 

Joliet man who committed brutal rape gets maximum 90 years

June 29

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Joliet man who forced his way into a woman’s home and brutally raped her was sentenced to a maximum sentence of 90 years in prison today.

A jury in April found Russell Amos Jr., 46, of 607 Whitley, Joliet, guilty of one count of Home Invasion and two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault.  The charges are all Class X felonies that carry a minimum mandatory sentence of six years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes handed down the maximum 30-year sentence on each count, each sentence to be served one after the other.

Amos struck up a conversation with the victim as she sat on her front porch on April 15, 2009. He followed her into her home when she went inside and raped her. During the commission of the offense, Amos used a miniature baseball bat the victim had produced to defend herself. The victim suffered serious internal injuries as a result of the attack, during which she was struck with the bat and choked.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Matt Guzman and Christine Vukmir, who secured the conviction at trial, asked Judge Policandriotes for an extensive sentence based on the defendant’s violent past. He was convicted in Georgia in 1988 of kidnapping a woman at gunpoint. He served 10 years of his sentence and, after violating his parole, was placed back behind bars for another three years. He also was arrested in Will County in 1985 for holding a knife to a woman’s throat and threatening to choke the life out of her.

“Russell Amos is an extraordinarily violent criminal who has proven over and over again that he is a threat to any defenseless woman in his path,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “After hearing the facts of this horrific rape and home invasion during the trial and listening to arguments presented by my two skilled prosecutors at sentencing, Judge Policandriotes guaranteed that this monster will never again walk free to harm another woman.”

Man who stabbed former landlord gets 55 years in prison

June 22

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a judge sentenced the man who stabbed his former landlord to death in 2007 to 55 years in prison.

Martin Gomez, 26, was convicted in April of stabbing Joseph Salamie to death in unincorporated Peotone on May 9, 2007. He also was convicted of committing a home invasion and armed robbery for forcing his way into the victim’s home and stealing about $1,000 in cash.

Gomez stabbed the victim an estimated 111 times during the attack and then used the money he stole to buy marijuana and to pay personal bills. The victim initially was attacked inside his house, which is on a horse farm. He was stabbed repeatedly after he attempted to flee the residence; the victim’s body was found in a ditch outside the house.

Gomez had rented a trailer on the victim’s horse farm prior to the attack.

Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt sentenced Gomez on Wednesday afternoon.

Will County Sheriff’s Detectives found Gomez’s DNA in the bathroom of the victim’s house. Prosecutors also presented testimony from witnesses who said they saw the defendant covered in blood near his house in rural St. Anne shortly after the attack.

Investigators also found the victim’s credit cards in the defendant’s car, and cell phone records showed that Gomez was in the area of the house at the time of the attack. The defendant’s girlfriend also testified that he admitted to her that he killed Salamie.Glasgow credited Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Knick, Steve Platek and Jeff Tuminello with securing the conviction and sentence that takes this dangerous killer off the streets. He also thanked Will County Sheriff’s Detectives for a thorough investigation.

Animal cruelty charges filed in Bolingbrook case

June 22

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces the filing of animal cruelty charges against a Bolingbrook man on Wednesday.

The State’s Attorney’s Office filed six Class A Misdemeanor Cruel Treatment of Animals charges against Brian Q. Brown, 21 of 441 Newton Court. The charges allege he knowingly starved several dogs, including Irish Terriers, a Bulldog and a Doberman on or about June 11, 2011.

The State’s Attorney’s Office also filed eight Class B Misdemeanor Owner’s Duties charges alleging the defendant failed to provide humane care 27 dogs. Terriers, Bulldogs, Dobermans, Japanese Chins and a Maltese are among the breeds named specifically in Owner’s Duties complaints. The defendant is alleged to have failed to provide either food or veterinary care in those complaints on or about June 11, 2011.

A warrant was issued for Brown’s arrest on Wednesday. A judge set bond with the warrant at $25,000. The defendant must post 10 percent or $2,500 to secure his release while awaiting trial. As a condition of bond, he must not have contact with any animals.

Details regarding the defendant’s arrest and future court dates are pending. 
Class A Misdemeanors carry a penalty ranging from probation to one year in jail upon conviction. Class B Misdemeanors carry a penalty of probation to six months in jail upon conviction.

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.

State’s Attorney Glasgow announces 55-year sentence for shooter who gunned down unarmed man outside Joliet grocery store in 2010

June 16

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a judge sentenced a Joliet man to 55 years in prison for gunning down an unarmed man outside a Joliet grocery store last year.

Christian D. Noel, 27, of the 100 block of Madonna, Joliet, was convicted of first-degree murder in March for shooting Conley Ratcliffe to death on February 26, 2010. Associate Judge Edward Burmila sentenced him on Friday.

Noel got into an argument with Ratcliffe outside the grocery store in the 1000 block of Woodruff. During the argument, the defendant pulled out a handgun prompting the victim to flee through a parking lot.

Noel fired multiple shots as the victim fled, striking him four times from behind. Ratcliffe fell to the ground, turned over and begged the defendant not to shoot him. Noel, however, continued to fire, shooting four to five more times while Ratcliffe was on the ground. In total, the victim sustained nine gunshot wounds, two of which were graze wounds.

“Christian Noel will spend the rest of his life in prison for this cold-blooded, execution-style murder,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “He is a ruthless killer who will no longer walk free to wreak deadly havoc on our streets.”

The State’s Attorney credited his prosecutors, Fred Harvey, James Long and Heather Meyers for securing a conviction and sentence that takes Noel off our streets. He also thanked the Joliet Police Department for its thorough investigation.

Aggravated Child Pornography charges filed against soccer coach

June 16

JOLIET – The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office announces that three charges of Aggravated Child Pornography and one charge of child pornography were filed this afternoon against Darrell Stephenson, 24, of 2038 Manico Court, Crest Hill in an ongoing investigation.

Stephenson initially was charged with two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse on June 13. He is being held on $750,000 bond in connection with the Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse charges and would have to post $75,000 to secure his release while awaiting trial.

With the filing of the separate Aggravated Child Pornography charges today, a Will County Judge set an additional bond of $150,000 at the request of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. Stephenson would have to post an additional $15,000 to secure his release while awaiting trial.  He is scheduled to appear in court next for preliminary hearing or arraignment on all charges on July 5.

Aggravated Child Pornography is a Class 2 Felony that carries a sentence ranging from 3-7 years in prison upon conviction. Probation is also a sentencing option. Child Pornography is a Class 3 Felony that carries a penalty of 2-5 years in prison with a possibility of probation.

The new charges allege the defendant possessed child pornography in the form of digital videos and digital photographs on an external computer hard drive. Investigators took possession of the computers pursuant to a search warrant in the investigation of the Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse allegations.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone who has information that can assist in the investigation is urged to contact:

The Will County Sheriff’s Department
Investigations Division
(815) 727-8574.

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.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s Speakers Bureau available for free presentations on crime prevention topics

June 15

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has organized a Speakers Bureau made up of law enforcement professionals from his office and crime prevention experts from throughout the community.

Members of his Speakers Bureau are available to present important information on relevant crime-prevention topics to students, educators, parents, community groups, senior citizens, businesses, local governments and faith-based organizations.

These informational presentations are free.

Members of the Speakers Bureau represent a range of backgrounds and experience. The panel includes State’s Attorney Glasgow as well as prosecutors, investigators and staff members who each have extensive expertise in their fields.  Subjects include but are not limited to:

  • Internet and Technology Safety;
  • Gang Awareness and Prevention;
  • Identity Theft and Financial Crimes;
  • Recognizing Scams that Target Senior Citizens;
  • Drunken Driving Consequences;
  • Substance Abuse Prevention;
  • Domestic Violence Education;
  • Character Education;
  • Teen Peer Juries
  • Drug Court.

“As a prosecutor, I know the most effective way to fight crime is through prevention,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “I have a highly trained staff of law enforcement professionals who will give people the tools they need to protect themselves from crime. I am proud to work with this team of dedicated specialists and to offer their expertise to address your concerns.”

The State’s Attorney’s Office also has partnered with Tri-River Police Training Association to provide training and continuing education to law enforcement officers on a variety of topics as well as updates on the latest case law. The goal is to enhance coordination between police and prosecutors to ensure proper and efficient prosecutions. These training sessions include but are not limited to:

  • Elder Law/Elder Abuse;
  • DUI;
  • Juvenile Law;
  • Mental Health;
  • Forfeitures;
  • Domestic Violence;
  • Custody Issues.

Representatives from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office also are available to staff vendor booths at community resource fairs to hand out informational materials and answer questions. 

To join our mailing list and receive email updates about available presentation opportunities, contact Cheri Johnson at (815) 723-1630, or email  If you would like the State’s Attorney’s Office to bring information to your event, or if you would like someone from State’s Attorney Glasgow’s Speakers Bureau to make a presentation to your group on a crime-prevention topic, contact the Bureau of Crime Prevention at (815) 774-7862 or email

Woman convicted of murder in Channahon shooting; faces minimum sentence of 56 years in prison

June 8

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a jury has found a Joliet woman guilty of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a Channahon man two years ago.

Mary Vetor, 25, also was convicted of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and home invasion. The jury deliberated for 3-1/2 hours before reaching its verdict.

Vetor faces a minimum of 56 years in prison when she is sentenced by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak on Aug. 8.

Vetor supplied the weapons – a gun and a baseball bat – that were used during the home invasion inside the Channahon apartment of Joshua Terdic on July 7, 2009. Terdic was shot in the head during the home invasion and died 10 days later. Another female victim, Lauren Vasilakis, also was shot but survived the attack.

In addition to supplying the weapons, Vetor helped to hatch the plan to steal money and drugs from Terdic. She also drove the two men who carried out the plan to Terdic’s home.

“Although she never entered the residence, Mary Vetor provided the deadly weapons and was intimately involved in the planning and orchestration of this brutal attack,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Because of her contemptible behavior, she is as responsible for the murder of Joshua Terdic as if she had placed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The jury heard all of the evidence and agreed.”
Two other defendants, Jason S. Orasco, 26, of Channahon, and Matthew Edwards, 19, of Joliet, also face charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and home invasion in connection with the incident. They are awaiting trial.

A fourth defendant, Ashley Hill, 19, of Joliet, pleaded guilty to home invasion and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in exchange for her truthful testimony against Vetor.

Glasgow credited his prosecutors – Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Fitzgerald, who heads the office’s Felony Division, Christine Vukmir and Daniel Walsh – for their expert work that left jurors with no doubt as to Vetor’s guilt. He also praised the Will County Major Crimes Task Force for a first-rate 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.

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center receives $5,000 grant from the City of Naperville to fund forensic interviews

May 24

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the City of Naperville to assist in the fight against child sexual abuse.

The City of Naperville selected the Children’s Advocacy Center to receive its Forensic Interviewing for Abused Children Social Services grant.  The grant will enable the center’s professionally trained staff to continue conducting forensic interviews of children who are the victims of sexual abuse. 

The children’s statements, which are recorded in a non-suggestive, non-threatening environment, have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of sexual predators over the past decade.

State’s Attorney Glasgow, who established the Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995, thanked the city for recognizing the important work the center’s staff performs on behalf of vulnerable children. The center is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization that relies solely on grants, local funding, foundations and fundraisers to operate.

“I want to thank the entire Naperville City Council and Police Chief Dial for their support of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center and its critical mission,” Glasgow said. “The Children’s Advocacy Center provides services that are critical to the investigation and prosecution of these extremely sensitive criminal cases. Financial support from the communities we serve is essential if we are to continue providing these services.”The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is a member of the United Way of Will County. For more information, contact The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4565, or visit the Web site at