Arsonist gets 30 years for setting fire to girlfriend’s apartment

November 1

Adrian Blalock, 39.

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Lockport man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a starting a fire in his girlfriend’s Joliet apartment unit in 2011.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak on Thursday handed down the maximum sentence for residential arson to Adrian Blalock, 39, of 413 E. 9th Street, Lockport. A jury deliberated for 28 minutes before finding Blalock guilty at the conclusion of a trial in June.

After arguing with his girlfriend, Blalock returned to her apartment in the 1100 block of North Broadway in Joliet on May 12, 2011. He entered the unit while no one was home and lit her young daughter’s bedroom on fire.

No one was injured, but the subsequent blaze caused in excess of $100,000 in damage to the four-unit apartment building.

Blalock had been driving with his own young daughter before setting the fire. He left his daughter sitting alone in the car, which he parked near the apartment building before he set the blaze, according to trial testimony.

Blalock has a long criminal record that includes convictions for two prior arsons.

“It is truly fortunate that no one was injured or killed when Adrian Blalock acted with callous disregard for the safety and well-being of the residents of that building,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “This arsonist will now spend many years contemplating the recklessness of his crime in a cold prison cell.”

The State’s Attorney credited Prosecutors Adam Capelli and Anna Rossi with securing this conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

MADIGAN, GLASGOW TAKE ACTION IN EXXONMOBIL REFINERY INCIDENT Complaint Seeks Investigation of Oil Release, Cleanup in Surrounding Area

October 31

CHICAGO – Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow filed a four-count complaint and sought a preliminary injunction today against ExxonMobil Oil Corp. alleging environmental violations after apparent operational errors at the company’s refinery in Channahon Township caused a burst of oil mist to be released into the surrounding area on Oct. 19, 2012.

According to the complaint, the oil release allegedly occurred as a result of procedural failures at the refinery’s coker unit, sending the oil mixture into the air and falling onto homes and farms within a four-mile radius of the refinery, which is located at I-55 and Arsenal Road. The incident prompted authorities to shut down Arsenal Road because of the slippery conditions created by the oil mixture settling on the roadway. Oil residue was also detected in nearby Jackson Creek and along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

The preliminary injunction seeks to require ExxonMobil to:

  • Complete an investigation within seven days to determine the cause of the release and report its findings to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, 
  • Submit a detailed work schedule for necessary improvements,
  • Report all pollutants and quantities involved in the incident,
  • Collect water samples in Jackson Creek and soil samples along Arsenal Road to be analyzed,
  • Identify residents, landowners and local government agencies it communicated with following the release, 
  • Provide equipment maintenance and inspection reports for the pressure safety valves involved in the release, and 
  • Provide a detailed explanation of the procedures used to re-start the coker unit following the October 19 release.  

“We’re seeking a comprehensive investigation of the cause of the oil release and development of a thorough cleanup plan to ensure that ExxonMobil is held accountable for the environmental impact caused by its refinery’s release of oil into the air and land,” Madigan said. 

“ExxonMobil must accept full responsibility for the harm this oily mist caused our environment as well as the farms, houses, vehicles, streets and other personal and public property in our surrounding communities,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “The preliminary injunction we seek in cooperation with Attorney General Madigan ensures that this incident will be thoroughly investigated and that ExxonMobil will clean up damaged properties and natural resources.”

A status hearing on the matter has been set for 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2 in Courtroom 236 in the Courthouse Annex at 57 N. Ottawa Street in Joliet.

Supervising Attorney Rebecca Burlingham and Assistant Attorney General Robert Petti are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Enforcement Bureau.

Man arrested on charges of child porn, solicitation following investigation by State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Tech Crimes Unit

October 13

Mark R. Barreto, 34.

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that child pornography and indecent solicitation charges have been filed against a Chicago man following a six-month investigation conducted by his High Technology Crimes Unit.

Mark R. Barreto, 34, of 300 N. Canal Street, Chicago, was charged Wednesday with aggravated child pornography (Class X), child pornography (Class 1), indecent solication of a child (Class 3), grooming (Class 4) and indecent solicitation of a child (Class A Misdemeanor). The Class X Felony carrries a penalty of between 6-30 years in prison with no option for probation upon conviction.

The child pornography charges allege the defendant transferred pornographic digital images of children between the ages of 5-years-old and 15-years-old over the Internet. The indecent solicitation and grooming charges allege the defendant discussed acts of sexual conduct over the Internet with someone he believed to be a child and that he exposed himself to that individual.

The individual he believed to be a child was actually the persona of a 14-year-old Naperville girl that was created by High Technology Crimes Unit investigators. The defendant also discussed meeting with a Bolingbrook man and the 14-year-old girl for sex in a Bolingbrook hotel. Information provided by the Bolingbrook man launched the investigation that led to charges against Barreto.

A Will County judge set bond at $250,000 for Barreto on Wednesday afternoon. He is scheduled to appear in court for preliminary hearing or arraignment on Nov. 21. As a condition of his bond, he can only use a computer for work purposes and cannot have contact with children under the age of 18. The investigation into Barreto continues.

“Over the past eight months, the High Technology Crimes Unit has launched investigations that have resulted in criminal charges against nearly 20 individuals,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Our goal is to expand this unit so that we can stop the production and dissemination of child pornography and halt the vile exploitation of our children.”

The Bolingbrook Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI were instrumental in conducting the investigation and securing the arrest. 
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 Township High Schools Announces Pilot of Robert Crown Center Heroin Prevention Initiative

October 24

JOLIET – Joliet Central High School Principal John Randich today announced the school’s participation in the pilot for a groundbreaking heroin prevention initiative as part of the school’s health education curriculum during a press conference today.

This initiative, developed by the Robert Crown Center for Health Education (RCC), is innovative and unique because it is designed to educate the whole school community, parents, and students.  The project builds upon existing school health curricula and resources, addressing the content gaps, recommending cross-curricular instruction opportunities and delivering consistent, authentic, accurate and research-based lessons that inform and resonate with learners. 

The initiative includes a social media case appropriate for both middle school and high school youth containing the story of a teen that starts using prescription pain pills and progresses to using heroin.  A unique aspect of this software is that the story is told using text messages, comic book scenes, “Friendbook” pages, bank statements, report cards, and blogs.  This allows the students to piece together the story themselves in order to see the effects of addiction and heroin use on a character they come to know and understand over the course of a school year.  

The development of this initiative is the third phase in an effort led by Will County Executive Larry Walsh entitled Will County HELPS (Heroin Education Leads to Preventative Solutions), which he formed in 2011 to fight the growing problem of heroin use in the county. 

“We are pleased to bring this important information to the students in our district,” said Randich. “As educators, we feel obligated to ensure our students are well educated about potential dangers such as heroin. We want to empower them to make wise decisions regarding their health and their futures.”

Walsh said Will County HELPS is fortunate to partner with the Robert Crown Center for Health Education to bring this educational initiative to the Will County schools. Will County HELPS has produced public service announcements, which air on local cable stations, and has hosted multiple forums across the county to raise awareness to the issue of heroin. This initiative is the third component of the effort. 

“The Robert Crown Center for Health Education is a leader in health education with over 50 years of experience in creating health curriculums specifically for students,” Walsh said. “It is our hope this partnership will further our efforts to eventually drive heroin out of our county. We must work together to protect our children, our families, and our communities.”

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, who partnered with Walsh in the HELPS initiative, said educating students is a critical component in the battle against heroin.

“My office joined forces with local police narcotics units years ago to aggressively prosecute heroin dealers as the use of this deadly drug was spiking,” Glasgow said. “But if we’re going to completely eliminate the market for heroin in Will County, we also must be present in our schools with partners like the Robert Crown Center who can teach our young people about the dangers of a drug that will addict you and can kill you at any time.”

The heroin prevention initiative is based on original research commissioned by RCC in partnership with the Reed Hruby Foundation, and conducted by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy commissioned by RCC focusing on suburban heroin users.  The research revealed common pathways to the drug and informed the design of the educational initiative.

Open House scheduled for Will County Drug Court recovery home; Julie Ann House named after county board member, drug court coordinator

October 24

JOLIET – The public is invited to attend an open house for the Julie Ann House, a new recovery home for people who are nearing completion of the Will County Drug Court Program.

The open house will be held on Friday, October 26th from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the new residence, 311 Lime Street in Joliet. 

The Julie Ann House is named in honor of Ann Dralle, Will County Board Member, and Julie McCabe-Sterr, Will County Drug Court Coordinator. State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced the opening at this month’s Will County Board meeting. 

This is the second recovery home for the Will County Drug Court. In 2010, a recovery home for men was established and named in honor of one of the program’s first graduates, Miller Taylor. The Miller Taylor House was the first recovery home in the United States operated by a drug court program.

In Drug Court, prosecutors and defense attorneys work with the judge and treatment providers to help abusers who have committed non-violent offenses beat their addictions. Those allowed into the program are carefully screened and must remain drug free, submit to random drug tests, find employment, follow through with treatment and attend weekly Drug Court sessions. Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes presides over Drug Court.

With two recovery homes open, one will house women and the other will house men.  “Our first recovery home enabled men from the Drug Court program to take control of their lives and reintegrate themselves back into their communities,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow, who spearheaded the creation of the drug court in the 1990s. “The opening of a second home will give the women in our Drug Court a place to complete their journeys toward leading healthy and productive lives.”

House managers will live on site. Those who live in the recovery homes have completed counseling and treatment programs and have been clean for a minimum of six months. Their stay is the final step before they graduate and rejoin the community. Residents are closely monitored and subject to random drug tests multiple times each week. Those who test positive for drug use are removed from the homes immediately.

A plaque to include McCabe-Sterr and Dralle’s names and likenesses will be placed at the entrance to the house. Naming the recovery home after both McCabe-Sterr and Dralle is a way to honor their dedication and tireless work in support of the mission of the Will County Drug Court, said State’s Attorney Glasgow.

McCabe-Sterr has been the Will County Drug Court coordinator since 2004. She has been working to establish recovery homes for Drug Court participants since she took the position.

Dralle was first elected to the Will County Board in 1998 and currently chairs the Judicial Committee, and she vice chairs the Capital Improvements Committee. She also sits on a number of other committees in addition to her extensive work outside of the County Board. Dralle’s support on the County Board was instrumental in the establishment of the recovery homes.No taxpayer funding was used to purchase the homes. The costs, including renovation work, were covered through fees paid to the court by those who were convicted of crimes in Will County.

MEDIA ADVISORY Joliet Township High Schools to Announce Pilot of Robert Crown Center Heroin Prevention Initiative

October 22

WHEN: 10 a.m., Weds. Oct. 24

WHERE: Little Theatre
Joliet Central High School 
201 E. Jefferson Street
Joliet, IL 

WHO: Joliet Central High School Principal John Randich 
Joliet Township High School Board President Jeff Pierson
Will County Executive Larry Walsh
Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow
Kathleen Burke, CEO, Robert Crown Center for Health Education 
Joliet Township High School Curriculum Director Diane McDonald

WHAT: School officials will announce the pilot of a heroin prevention initiative that was developed by the Robert Crown Center for Health Education. This pilot is part of Will County HELPS (Heroin Education Leads to Preventative Solutions) that was launched in 2011 by Will County Executive Larry Walsh to fight the growing problem of heroin use and overdoses in the county.

Joliet man sentenced to 14 years in eye-gouging attack on elderly uncle

October 18

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a Joliet man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery of a senior citizen for gouging the eyes of his elderly uncle. The 14 year prison term was the maximum sentence.

Exulam Holman, 33, of 1130 McKay, Joliet was found guilty in August after a jury deliberated for approximately 45 minutes. He was sentenced today by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak.

On this past New Year’s Eve, Holman and his elderly uncle, Melvin Clifford, fought over a missing remote television control at their residence. An argument ensued after Clifford asked Holman about the missing remote, according to testimony. Holman initially pushed his uncle down some stairs. When Clifford came back up the stairs, Holman pushed him down, pinned him to the ground by placing his knees on his uncle’s shoulders and gouged his eyes by pushing his thumbs into the sockets.

As a result of this brutal attack, Clifford lost one eye and has limited vision in the other. Despite the injuries he sustained, Clifford was able to call 911 on the night of the attack.

The victim is a veteran who served in Vietnam. On the night of the attack, there were numerous people in the house. None of them cooperated with police during the investigation.

“Exulam Holman is a volatile criminal who brutally attacked his elderly uncle for no apparent reason,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “The maximum prison sentence was critical to punish this act of extraordinary savagery and wanton cruelty against a defenseless senior citizen and a veteran.” 

Glasgow credited Assistant State’s Attorneys Daniel Walsh and Heather Meyers for securing this important conviction and sentence.

Chicago Crime Commission to honor Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow with Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award

October 17

The Chicago Crime Commission announced that Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow will be honored on Wednesday, November 7th at its Stars of Distinction, 2012 Awards Dinner.  Glasgow will receive the prestigious Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award for his outstanding effort in the prosecution of former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

“We are pleased to recognize the efforts of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow by honoring him with the Chicago Crime Commission’s Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award,” according to J.R. Davis, President and Chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission. “His unrelenting commitment to justice prompted the passage of legislation that will forever affect how prosecutorial procedures are carried out in Illinois,” he added.

After nearly two years of litigation before the Third District Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court, State’s Attorney Glasgow and his team were granted a ruling that would change the course of the case. In April 2012 the Third District Appellate Court effectively overturned Judge Stephen White’s earlier decision by ruling that the prosecution team could use eight statements made by both the victim prior to her death and by Peterson’s still-missing fourth wife, Stacy, prior to her disappearance.

The Peterson prosecution was a five-year process that involved a number of groundbreaking initiatives. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office conducted an 18-month Special Grand Jury investigation following the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In addition, State’s Attorney Glasgow filed a petition to exhume the body of Kathleen Savio, after which second and third autopsies revealed compelling new evidence that assisted him in proving she was murdered and not the victim of a slip-and-fall accident.

State’s Attorney Glasgow also worked with the General Assembly to draft and enact new legislation that placed the concept of “forfeiture by wrongdoing” into the Illinois criminal rules of evidence. Forfeiture by wrongdoing enables prosecutors to enter relative and probative hearsay statements into evidence if they can prove a defendant killed a witness to prevent him or her from testifying. The Illinois Supreme Court eventually adopted the common law doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing in its decision regarding a DuPage County murder case and then adopted the federal rules on forfeiture by wrongdoing.

On September 6, 2012 after a lengthy and contentious trial, a jury convicted Drew Peterson of the first-degree murder of Kathleen Savio. He currently awaits sentencing. “Through patience and diligence, James Glasgow brought a guilty man to justice. He truly exemplifies the meaning of the title ‘Prosecutor’,” Davis commented.

The Chicago Crime Commission Stars of Distinction Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award is named after the late assistant U.S. Attorney who is credited with convicting some of Chicago’s most notorious organized crime figures in the Operation Family Secrets trial. “As a recipient of the Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award, Glasgowfinds himself in the company of some of Illinois’ finest prosecutors,” Davis continued. “Past recipients of the award include state and federal prosecutors responsible for ridding our communities of street gang leaders, outfit members, drug dealers and murderers,” he added.

The Stars of Distinction, 2012 Awards Dinner will honor individuals and the organizations they serve in recognition of their outstanding work in law enforcement. “Recipients of the Stars of Distinctionawards stand out among the ranks because of their commitment and dedication to the fight against crime,” Davis concluded.

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center chosen as one beneficiary of Witches Night Out fundraiser

October 15

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is pleased to announce that the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the 3rd Annual Witches Night Out fundraiser to be held Oct. 25 at the Joliet Renaissance Center, 214 North Ottawa Street in Joliet.

Witches Night Out is a unique event during which women dress as witches for a fun night out on the town. The event’s proceeds fund United Way agencies that serve women and children in need. This year’s committee selected the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center for its dedication to helping children and families hurt by child abuse. Lamb’s Fold Women’s Center and Stepping Stones Treatment and Recovery Center also were selected as beneficiaries of this year’s event.

Witches Night Out activities will include a Witches Bazaar starting at 4:30 p.m., a buffet dinner, tours of the Joliet Area Historical Museum, ghost stories told by a Joliet Drama Guild member, fortune tellers, door prizes and a costume contest.

“I want to thank the Witches Night Out committee for selecting the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center as one of the beneficiaries of this year’s fundraiser,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow, who founded the Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 and chairs its Board of Directors. “Participants are certain to have a lot of fun and the proceeds will enable the CAC to continue its crucial mission of protecting vulnerable children.”

The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization. Its professionally trained staff interviews children who are the victims of sexual or severe physical abuse in a non-threatening, non-suggestive environment. The children’s recorded statements have been used in the successful prosecution of literally hundreds of child predators over the past 17 years. Last year, the center interviewed 321 children.

Tickets for Witches Night Out cost $15. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit  Tickets are also available by contacting the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4562.

State’s Attorney Glasgow joined by citizens, local officials, police chiefs for opening of satellite office in Eastern Will County

October 3

BEECHER – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow was joined by local citizens, area police chiefs and Washington Township officials on Monday, October 1 for the opening of a satellite office to serve the citizens in Eastern Will County.

Washington Township officials including Supervisor and Will County Board Member Robert Howard, Trustee Patricia Peters, Accountant Tom Brislane and General Assistance Coordinator Elizabeth Delgado were among those on hand to greet citizens. Beecher Police Chief Jeffrey L. Weissgerber and Peotone Police Chief Bill Mort also attended the opening.

State’s Attorney Glasgow, along with Assistant State’s Attorney Kathy Patton, who will staff the office on the first Monday of each month, met privately with citizens to discuss their concerns and issues. Assistant State’s Attorney Patton is the chief of Glasgow’s Criminal Division and a resident of Eastern Will County.

“Our goal is to make the services of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office as accessible as possible to everyone in our county,” Glasgow said. “The opening of this office will give citizens from Beecher, Peotone, Crete, Monee and University Park a more convenient option other than driving to Joliet when they need face-to-face contact with an attorney from our office.”

The satellite office is located at the Washington Township Offices, 30200 Town Center Road in Beecher. The office will be open from 9 a.m. until noon on the first Monday of each month.

Issues that may be addressed at the satellite office include:

  • Walk-in complaints from citizens after a police agency has declined to forward their allegations to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office for charging. Citizens should have a copy of their police report available;
  • Discussions regarding services provided through the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, including filing bad check restitution claims; child support enforcement; the availability of victim witness services; information about drug court, mental health court or veterans court; and scheduling crime prevention presentations;
  • Information about or referrals for services available through other county or state agencies;
  • And consultations with officers from local police departments regarding criminal cases. 

“I want to thank Bob Howard and the Washington Township trustees for making office space available inside their building for our attorney,” Glasgow said.  “Bob understands the importance of making government services accessible to everyone in our county. Our new partnership will help the State’s Attorney’s Office, Washington Township and our local police agencies reach out and serve even greater numbers of citizens.”

For information about the satellite office, contact the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office at (815) 727-8789 or Washington Township at (708) 946-2026.