Trucker in I-55 crash scheduled for 1:30 p.m. court appearance

July 22

Francisco Espinal-Quiroz, 51, of Leesburg, IN, the trucker involved in the Interstate 55 crash Monday afternoon, is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, July 22 in Courtroom 305 of the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet.  Formal charges are under review by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

New Lenox man gets 8 years for DUI crash that caused friend’s death

July 18

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a drunken driver who crashed his vehicle and killed his passenger in 2012 was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday.

Kevin Krohn, 23, of New Lenox entered a blind plea on July 14 to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol that involved someone’s death. He faced between three and 14 years in prison.

Krohn was intoxicated when he lost control of his Dodge Stratus and crashed into a retaining wall, a tree and phone switching box near 104th Avenue and Steger Road on Aug. 25, 2012.

The defendant was able to exit the vehicle.  The passenger, Jake Stevens, 22, was killed when the car burst into flames. Stevens, who was Krohn’s friend, was trapped and burned to death inside the vehicle.

Krohn was taken to the hospital where his blood-alcohol level was measured at .09. He also tested positive for marijuana.

“Jake Stevens suffered a horrific death because Kevin Krohn chose to get behind the wheel and drive while he was intoxicated,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “This was a callous decision that should haunt the defendant in the years he spends behind bars and for the rest of his life.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Fred Harvey secured the conviction and sentence.  The case was investigated by the Will County Sheriff’s Department.

State’s Attorney Glasgow offers two $50 gift cards for blood drive drawing; cards provided in honor of top donor, Chief Investigator Jim Stewart

July 17

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that those who donate blood during the State’s Attorney’s Office Community Blood Drive next week will be placed in a drawing to win one of two $50 Target gift cards.

State’s Attorney Glasgow will donate the gift cards in honor of his Chief Investigator, Jim Stewart, who religiously donates blood through Heartland Blood Centers. He has donated more than 20 gallons of blood over the years.  Investigator Stewart recently underwent surgery and is unable to keep his regular donation schedule.

The Blood Drive is schedule for Wednesday, July 23 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 121 N. Chicago St., in Joliet, directly across from the Rialto Square Theatre.  

“Jim Stewart’s dedication to making life-saving donations is a testament to his tremendous character and community spirit,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Health complications will keep him from donating for awhile, but I encourage everyone to follow his fine example. Make it your goal to try to beat Jim’s record by scheduling regular donations starting with this Blood Drive. I hope the gift cards will provide a little extra motivation.”

Every donor next week will also receive a $5 Subway gift card in addition to their chance to win one of twoTarget cards. The drawing for the Target cards will be held at the end of the drive. 

Appointments can be made by calling Jennifer Babec at (815) 325-4282, or by visiting Heartland Blood Centers online at Walk-in donors also are welcome on the day of the blood drive. Donations take roughly 30 minutes.

State’s Attorney Glasgow hosts blood drives in downtown Joliet twice a year. The office has been partnering with Heartland Blood Centers and Jennifer Babec, a local volunteer mom, since 2012.

Jennifer’s young daughter, Taylor, required 22 blood transfusions that restored her health and her spirits during her successful battle against lymphoma several years ago. Taylor’s cancer is in remission, but Jennifer continues to coordinate drives so there is an ample supply for others who need transfusions.

“We are happy to host these July blood drives and help replenish the local blood supply during the slow summer months,” said State’s Attorney James Glasgow. “Everyone who donates is helping our community and potentially saving lives.”

Former New Lenox man gets 4-1/2 years for neglect of ailing mother

July 17

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a former New Lenox man was sentenced Thursday to 4-1/2 years in prison for the criminal neglect of his elderly mother.

Mark Kuech, 51, pleaded guilty in April to Criminal Abuse or Neglect of an Elderly Person, a Class 3 Felony. The indictment alleges that Kuech failed to care for his 79-year-old mother in the months between May and November of 2012. The victim had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which had been under control, prior to the period of neglect.

Kuech left his mother, Margaret Kuech, unattended in a basement bedroom of his home in New Lenox for extended periods of time. In November of 2012, she was hospitalized after paramedics were called and found her to be severely malnourished, suffering from extensive bedsores and disoriented. At the time she was hospitalized, the 5-foot, 6-inch tall woman weighed less than 90 pounds. 

Kuech’s wife had been caring responsibly for Margaret Kuech. But when she left her husband because of his alcohol problems, Margaret Kuech became her son’s responsibility.

“Mark Kuech selfishly neglected his obligation to provide the most basic care for his frail and elderly mother,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “This is the ultimate betrayal by a man who should spend the next several years in prison rethinking his priorities.”

Margaret Kuech continues to suffer from partial paralysis and dementia and no longer recognizes old friends who visit. She is unable to care for herself and requires constant care in a nursing home.

Glasgow thanked Will County Sheriff’s Department investigators and his prosecutor, Frank Byers, for securing the conviction and sentence in this case. He also credited Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Koch for conducting a thorough review of Margaret Kuech’s accounts to ensure she was not financially exploited.

Romeoville man arrested on child porn distribution charges after investigation by State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit

July 3

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Romeoville man has been charged with the distribution of child pornography following an investigation by his High Technology Crimes Unit.

Miguel Luna, 63, of 506 N. Frieh Drive, was arrested on Wednesday with assistance from the Romeoville Police Department. He was charged with one count of dissemination of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography.

Luna was a part-time police officer with the Blue Island Police Department. The defendant also is a camp leader with Pathfinders, which is part of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The organization is involved with the cultural, social and religious education of children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15.

Luna is scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 305. Dissemination of child pornography is a Class X felony that carries a penalty of between six and 30 years in prison upon conviction. Probation is not a sentencing option. Possession of child pornography is a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison upon conviction.
Detectives with the High Technology Crimes Unit executed a search warrant and seized Luna’s computer as part of the investigation, which is ongoing. If anyone has information pertaining to Miguel Luna, please contact the High Technology Crimes Unit at (815) 727-8453.

State’s Attorney Glasgow established the unit in February 2012 to track and arrest individuals who trade child pornography over the Internet. 

“The High Technology Crimes Unit has launched investigations that have resulted in the arrest and charging of more than 40 individuals suspected of trading child pornography or soliciting children over the Internet,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Our goal is to stop the production and dissemination of child pornography and halt the exploitation of our children.”

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.

Plainfield woman gets 52 years for 2007 murder of boyfriend

July 1

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a judge sentenced a Plainfield woman to 52 years in prison for gunning down her former boyfriend in Plainfield in 2007.

A jury in March found Gabriela Escutia, 25, guilty in the shooting death of Javier Barrios on Oct. 28, 2007 near a Plainfield Meijer store. Escutia, who was eligible for between 45 years and life in prison, was sentenced on Tuesday afternoon by Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes.

Escutia arranged to meet Barrios near the Meijer store, and she brought her current boyfriend, Ricardo Gutierrez, 26, and an unidentified female with her. 

Escutia ambushed Barrios and shot him once in the side. She admitted to police and on the witness stand that she would have shot him a second time had her gun not jammed. Barrios, who was mortally wounded when the bullet pierced his heart, fled the vehicle and collapsed face-forward in a field near the shopping center.

Gutierrez, who took the gun after Escutia cleared the jammed bullet, chased the victim, stood over Barrios and shot him twice in the back of the head. After the shooting, the defendant and co-defendant went to see the horror movie Saw IV. In July 2013, Gutierrez was sentenced to 68 years in prison.

Escutia’s lawyers said she shot Barrios because she had been battered by him. The jury, however, found her guilty. 

“Gabriela Escutia is not a battered woman,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “She is ruthless and manipulative killer who orchestrated a hit on Javier Barrios.  Only a jammed gun prevented her from carrying out this execution on her own. She and her partner will spend what amounts to the rest of their lives in prison for gunning down a defenseless man in an act of cold-blooded betrayal.”

Glasgow credited his prosecutors for expert trial work that secured a conviction and sentence.  He also thanked the Plainfield Police Department for its first-rate investigation in this case.

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center’s therapy dog, Jackson, first four-legged friend to be honored by Exchange Club of Joliet

June 23
JOLIET – The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center’s very own therapy dog, Jackson, recently became the first four-legged friend to be honored by the Exchange Club of Joliet for his work with children who have suffered the trauma of sexual or physical abuse.

Jackson was awarded the “Contributing Service Award” presented to a non-club member at the Exchange Club’s Installation Banquet on June 3 at the Jacob Henry Mansion. 

Jackson, accompanied by owners Cheri and Kurt Johnson, received both a plaque and special dog tag designating him as an honorary member of the Exchange Club of Joliet.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 to improve the way allegations of child abuse are investigated. In 2012, State’s Attorney Glasgow established the Paws-4-Kids program and asked Cheri Johnson to bring Jackson to the Children’s Advocacy Center to comfort children.

“Jackson has made an invaluable contribution to the mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “He provides a calming presence for frightened and vulnerable children who visit the center to be interviewed about allegations of abuse.  He’s always available for hugs and pets at the most traumatic time in their lives.  I am grateful to the Exchange Club for acknowledging Jackson’s work on behalf of children and for the Club’s long history of support to the community.”

Jackson, a Labrador Retriever, is licensed through Therapy Dog International. He welcomes children when they arrive at the Children’s Advocacy Center and keeps them company while preparations are made for interviews. He is not in the room during interviews, but he stays to play with siblings, and many times parents or caregivers, while they wait for an interview to conclude.

Cheri Johnson, Jackson’s owner and handler, has worked for State’s Attorney Glasgow for the past seven years. She and her husband have made Jackson available at no cost to taxpayers for all the petting, playing and hugging a child can squeeze in before and after a victim-sensitive interview. Studies have shown that dogs and other pets can put people at ease during emotionally stressful situations.

The Exchange Club of Joliet has a long and rich history in the Joliet community, being chartered in 1946.  This civic organization is devoted to supporting programs that prevent child abuse and promote patriotism.  The club hosts various events each year, including the Annual Spaghetti Dinner to fund its work.

For more information about the work of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, please visit: or visit on the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center on Facebook.  The Children’s Advocacy Center is a partner agency with the United Way of Will County.

Information on the Exchange Club of Joliet can be found at

Shannard Dyer Court Appearance on Agg DUI charges

May 6

JOLIET – Shannard Dyer is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 305 at the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., Joliet IL.   Mr. Dyer will appear via video camera.

Formal charges of Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (6 counts) were filed Monday afternoon. Bond was set at $750,000. The defendant must post 10 percent, or $75,000, to secure his release while awaiting trial. 

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.

Family Support Groups to be recognized at 2014 Hero Helps Community Summit May 17, 2014

May 1

Romeoville – To acknowledge the importance of family involvement in the recovery process, a formal recognition ceremony of local family groups will be part of the 2014 Hero Helps Community Forum slated for Sat. May 17, 2014 at the Romeoville Athletic and Event Center.

     “The support of family is critical in the recovery of a heroin addict,” said Paul Lauridsen, co-chair of the event. “Many of these family members have joined together to find both support from one another and strength to spread the message of hope for recovery.”

     The HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization) Foundation was begun by John Roberts and Bryan Kirk after both men lost their sons to heroin overdose. The group has been influential in raising the awareness of the heroin epidemic and helping move legislation such as the Good Samaritan Act. The HERO Foundation will be part of this year’s summit.

     “We continue to work to encourage families trying to support a loved one who is addicted to heroin and comfort to families who have lost a loved one to heroin,” said Roberts.

     Kathleen Burke, president of Strategic Prevention, said it is important to recognize these grassroots organization that many times are started by parents with addicted children.

     “Our goal is to bring these groups together in hopes of finding ways they can work together and share resources,” Burke said. “There are many families who are hurting and feel alone in dealing with a loved one’s addiction. We want to recognize the strength of these groups who are finding their own voice.”

    Any family support group is encouraged to attend the May 17 event. In order to be part of the roll call, a group representative should contact Burke at

     To register for this free summit or for more information, visit the website:

Chicago man gets 50 years for 2011 New Lenox Township murder

April 25

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that Chicago man has been sentenced to 50 years for the murder of a man at his home in New Lenox Township in 2011.

A jury in January found Rodney Julun, 25, guilty of beating 59-year-old Dwight Jones to death at his home just outside of New Lenox on June 10, 2011. Julun, who had met Jones that same evening in Chicago, had traveled with the victim to his house with the intention of committing a robbery or a burglary.

Judge Daniel Rozak handed down the sentence on Friday for what he described as “a senseless, cold-blooded and brutal act.” 

Julun beat Jones about the head with a brass lamp that was inside his house, according to evidence presented at the trial. After the beating, he wrapped Jones in a sheet on his bed and doused him with gasoline.

The defendant left the house that night in the victim’s Volkswagen Jetta and took his cell phone, cash and other valuables, which he attempted to sell on the streets and at Chicago pawn shops. He returned the following day with two friends to steal additional items, including televisions, computers and jewelry.

Julun drove Jones’ car for several days before he and the other two men were arrested by Will County Sheriff’s Police. The other two men, John White, 23 and David Reed, 25, pleaded guilty to residential burglary in 2012 and were sentenced to six years and four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections respectively.

During the investigation, Julun told police several different stories about events leading up to the murder. However, when he took the witness stand at trial, he falsely testified that he acted in self-defense, alleging that Jones sexually assaulted him. During his testimony, he admitted that he had lied to police during the investigation.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Jim Long, Chris Regis and Erin Krone presented evidence that highlighted the many inconsistencies in the defendant’s story and led to his conviction.

“Rodney Julun is a street thug who brutally murdered Dwight Jones just so he could steal his valuables,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “He told so many lies to Will County Sheriff’s Investigators that he was destroyed on cross examination. He will now spend the next 50 years of his life behind bars to pay for this heinous crime.” 

The State’s Attorney credited the team of Sheriff’s Department investigators led by Detective Jeremy Viduna for conducting a first-rate investigation that began in Will County and led them to Chicago’s South Side, where Julun first came across Jones.