Prevention, Treatment Options & Family Support amongst topics to be addressed at 2014 Hero Helps Community Summit slated for May 17, 2014

April 15

Romeoville – The stage is set for the 2014 Hero Helps Community Summit , Sat., May 17 at the Romeoville Athletic and Events Center. The theme of this year’s event is  collaboration and how to bring unity amongst various groups and initiatives. 

     “We have successfully raised awareness about the heroin epidemic affecting communities across the state of Illinois,” said Paul Lauridsen, co-chairman of the event. “Now we want to continue promoting effective practices which includes collaborations to turn the tide in this epidemic”. 

     Kris Adzia, Robert Crown Center for Health Education, will talk about the heroin prevention initiative that is in its second year of a pilot program in several schools in Will and DuPage counties. She will also discuss opportunities to expand this program to more schools across the state. 

     George DeTella, from the DuPage County Health Department, will speak about the life-saving efforts of the DuPage Narcan program (DNP), which has already resulted in saving two lives from heroin overdose in DuPage County. 

     “The sole goal of the DNP is to save lives and give these people another chance for recovery and life” says DeTella. 

     DeTella will also talk more about the details of the DNP and the collaborative efforts among community leaders that have resulted in this program being successful.

      Other speakers include:  States Attorney James Glasgow who will talk about the success of the Will County Drug Court Program. Dr. Celeste Napier, Rush University Medical Center, who will speak to the role of the brain in heroin and other opioid addiction; Dr. Gawtham Gutta, Clinical Associates and Ron Vlasaty, Family Guidance who will talk about medication assisted treatment and recovery options;  John Roberts, the HERO group, who will share information about family support groups for those who have lost a loved one to heroin or have a family member dealing with addiction; and Robert Snipes, Stepping Stones who will talk about opioid treatment and recovery. 

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

Will County Drug, Veterans Courts to hold graduation April 17; first veteran admitted to court among 19 graduates

April 8

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow announced that a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and the first military member admitted into the Will County Veterans Court in May 2012 will graduate from the program.

Marco Vizcaino, 33, of Willowbrook, who has struggled with heroin addiction, will graduate from Veterans Court during a ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. April 17 at the Jacob Henry Mansion’s Victorian Ballroom,15 South Richards Street, in Joliet.

In addition to Vizcaino, 18 other people will graduate from Will County Drug Court or Will County Veterans Court. There will be a total of 16 Drug Court graduates and three Veterans Court graduates during the April 17 ceremony.

Veterans Court functions as a program within the Will County Drug Court. Over the past 14 years, the Drug Court team has helped more than 300 people kick their addictions and avoid felony convictions for non-violent offenses they have committed.

Graduates from both courts are from Joliet, Orland Park, Essex, Crete, Mokena, Plainfield, Crestwood, Naperville, Frankfort, Woodridge, Bolingbrook, Morris, Peotone and Villa Park.

State’s Attorney Glasgow worked with the local judiciary, including former Chief Judge Gerald Kinney and presiding Drug Court Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes, to establish the Veterans Court in May of 2012.  The court is designed to provide treatment, counseling and assistance to local veterans who have struggled with mental health and substance abuse disorders – in many cases as a direct result of their service to our country – since returning home from military operations.

“Over the years, thousands of veterans have returned home suffering from substance abuse problems or mental health disorders,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “We enjoy extraordinary freedoms because of their sacrifices. We have an obligation to acknowledge their service and provide them with the treatments and counseling needed to regain their lives. “

The graduation ceremony is open to the public.  Veterans organizations are encouraged to attend. For information on the upcoming ceremony, call (815) 774-7852 or (815) 723-1630.

State’s Attorney Glasgow thanks Naperville Exchange Club for $5,170 contribution to Will County Children’s Advocacy Center

April 7

JOLIET – The Naperville Exchange Club recently donated $5,170 to the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center to assist in the fight against child sexual abuse.

Sean Kelley, a member of the Naperville Exchange Club’s Allocation Committee, presented the grant to Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

The Children’s Advocacy Center’s professionally trained staff interviews 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 19 years.

State’s Attorney Glasgow, who established the Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995, thanked the Naperville Exchange Club for a generous contribution that enables the center to continue its work on behalf of vulnerable children. The center is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization that relies on grants, local funding, foundations and fundraisers to operate.

“I am extremely grateful for the Naperville Exchange Club’s continued support for the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center and its critical mission,” Glasgow said. “Statements recorded at the center have helped us put hundreds of predators behind bars while providing abused children and their families with the services needed to begin the healing process.” 

The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is a member of United Way of Will County.  For information, call (815) 774-4565 or visit on the Web at

Drunken driver gets 9 years for collision that severely injured teenager

March 28

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a drunken driver who struck a teenage girl and severely injured her in 2012 was sentenced to nine years in prison on Friday.

Fidencio Castillo, 29, of Peotone, was intoxicated when he struck the 17-year-old girl while she was walking along Wilmington-Peotone Road near the Will County Fairgrounds in the evening on Aug. 3, 2012.  Castillo’s blood-alcohol level tested at .101 two hours after the crash; the legal limit is .08 in Illinois.

The young girl suffered severe head injuries in the collision and now requires around-the-clock professional care in a nursing home. She was walking to a friend’s house just before dark on the evening she was struck.

Castillo faced 1-12 years in prison after pleading guilty to Aggravated DUI in December. The defendant had been arrested on two prior occasions for DUI, and he had a long history of alcohol and cocaine abuse, according to court testimony.

“No apology from the defendant can restore the vibrant young lady who must spend the rest of her life in a nursing home because of injuries she suffered at the hands of a drunken driver,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Fidencio Castillo will spend a long time behind prison bars contemplating his callous decision and the tremendous harm he caused.”
Assistant State’s Attorneys Frank Byers and Tom Bahar secured the plea and sentence that will take Castillo off the streets. The State’s Attorney also credited Victim-Witness Advocate Nichole Pasteris for assisting the victim and her family throughout the court process. 

The defendant must serve 85-percent of the sentence handed down by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak.  

Children’s Advocacy Center, State’s Attorney Glasgow bring amateur cooks to the table for the Sixth Annual ‘Men Who Cook’ competition

February 20

JOLIET – Everyone is invited to sample fine cuisine offered by amateur chefs from across Will County at the Sixth Annual “Men Who Cook” culinary competition from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at the Pipefitters Training Center Local 597 at 10850 187th Street in Mokena.

An estimated 50 amateur chefs will fire up their ovens and stovetops to cook their favorite home recipes for hundreds of guests at the annual competition and fundraiser to benefit the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, a not-for-profit agency that helps children who are the victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Save the date and bring your appetite. Participating cooks will offer bite-size samples of their best home-cooked meals – the dishes they serve their own families.  After making the rounds, guests can vote for their favorite dish in each of four categories: appetizer, side dish, entrée, and dessert. 

The cost is an affordable $40 per person; $75 per couple. The price is $10 for children between 6 and 12; kids 5 and under can attend for free. Don’t dress up; it’s a casual evening.

“I am always amazed at the level of talent our amateur cooks display each year at ‘Men Who Cook,’” said State’s Attorney James Glasgow, who founded the Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 and chairs its Board of Directors. “These guys bring every specialty dish imaginable to the table. Italian, Mexican, Cajun, Asian, French, Polish; you name it, we’ve got it. And our guests love walking from table to table sampling the fine food.” 

WJOL’s Lynne, Mary and Natalie will return to the “Men Who Cook” Red Carpet this year to greet guests. Jackson, the Children’s Advocacy Center’s therapy dog and goodwill ambassador, will make an appearance. And our Kids Corner will be back again this year. And 2014 “Men Who Cook” Chef Calendars will be available to purchase for $10.

State’s Attorney Glasgow established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 to improve investigations of child sexual abuse cases. The center’s professionally trained and compassionate staff performs forensic child-sensitive interviews when there are allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. Children’s recorded statements have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of predators.

The State’s Attorney founded the center as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization so it would not impact taxpayers. As a result, the center relies on grants, foundations and fundraisers like “Men Who Cook” to operate.

Tickets for “Men Who Cook” are available on-line at or they can be purchased at the door.  If you have any questions, contact the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4565.

Visit on the Web at or on Facebook at

There are still a limited number of spots available for men who are interested in cooking. For information, call (815) 774-4565.

Lemont man guilty of second-degree murder in road rage case

February 4

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a jury found a Lemont man guilty late Monday evening of second degree murder for punching a motorist in the head in Romeoville in June 2011.

The victim, Frank Egas, 63, died several months later from the severe brain injuries he suffered after being punched violently by Christopher Yeoman on June 2, 2011 during a clear case of road rage near 135th Street and Illinois 53.

Yeoman, 41, also was found guilty of aggravated battery to a senior citizen and aggravated battery. He faces between 3 and 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 4. He was taken into custody by Will County Sheriff’s Police Monday night.

Assistant State’s Attorney’s Christopher Koch and Peter Wilkes presented evidence and testimony to prove that Yeoman exited his minivan on that sunny afternoon, rushed toward the victim and then punched him once as he stood near his vehicle while he was stopped on 135th Street near Illinois 53. Mr. Egas fell to the ground, and the defendant fled the scene in his minivan while his wife was driving.

The defendant claimed in testimony that he honked his horn at Mr. Egas while he was stopped ahead of him on 135th Street. Yeoman also claimed Mr. Egas then swerved to prevent him from passing and that he punched Mr. Egas in self-defense after the two men had exited their vehicles.

Prosecutors Koch and Wilkes, however, presented testimony from witnesses who stated that Mr. Egas was standing by his vehicle and made no aggressive gesture when Yeoman rushed toward him and punched him. Yeoman also admitted under cross-examination by Koch that he was angered by Mr. Egas’ driving and that the he did not turn his minivan off onto various sidestreets or into parking lots to avoid Mr. Egas.

“Christopher Yeoman sucker punched Mr. Egas out of sheer anger and now a senior citizen is dead, the victim of irrational violence” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “My prosecutors left no doubt in the minds of jurors that this was a murder resulting from a senseless incident of road rage and not a case of self-defense.”

The State’s Attorney also credited the Romeoville Police Department for its investigation into this case.

Will County State’s Attorney’s Office joins with Heartland to host blood drive Feb. 5

January 15

JOLIET – The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office once again will partner with Heartland Blood Centers and local mom Jennifer Babec to host a community blood drive from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5 at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, 121 N. Chicago St., in Joliet. 

Heartland’s mobile coaches will be parked in the State’s Attorney’s Office lot directly across the street from the historic Rialto Square Theatre in downtown Joliet. 

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

The State’s Attorney’s Office has been hosting blood drives with Heartland since 2012. The centralized Chicago Street location has proven to be convenient for the thousands of government and office employees who work in downtown Joliet.   

“It has been gratifying over the years to see so many people take time out of their busy schedules to help others in our community,” said State’s Attorney James Glasgow. “We are happy to work with such great partners to provide blood for people in their time of need.” 

Heartland is the sole provider of blood and blood products for Silver Cross Hospital and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center. 

Jennifer Babec’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. She currently is Heartland’s top volunteer coordinator.

Chicago man found guilty in 2011 New Lenox Township murder

January 14

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a jury on Tuesday found a Chicago man guilty of murdering a man at his home in New Lenox Township in 2011.

Rodney Julun, 25, of 6958 S. Laflin, beat 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.

Julun savagely 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 that he attempted to sell on the streets and at Chicago pawn shops. He returned the following day with two other 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, he took the witness stand on Monday and 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 adeptly presented testimony and evidence establishing the state’s case in chief and then shined a spotlight on the myriad of inconsistencies in the defendant’s ridiculous version of events.

“Rodney Julun is an amoral street hustler and an insidious liar who went home with Dwight Jones intending to brutally murder him just so he could steal and fence his valuables,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “After he was caught, Julun told so many lies to Will County Sheriff’s investigators that he was a sitting duck as prosecutor Chris Regis completely destroyed his credibility on cross examination.  Jurors needed less than 90 minutes to deliberate, and they had no trouble determining that the evidence painstakingly gathered by sheriff’s detectives and skillfully presented by our prosecutors proved Rodney Julun guilty of this heinous murder beyond a reasonable doubt. ”

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.

Jurors deliberated for less than 90 minutes before rendering a guilty verdict. Julun faces between 20 and 60 years in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak on April 1.

Joliet man gets 45 years for 2009 Lois Place murder

January 8

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for the murder of a man inside the Lois Place apartment complex in 2009.

A jury in August found Jesus Zambrano, 23, guilty offirst-degree murder for the killing of Robert Gooch on May 22, 2009. Another man, Pedro Sanchez, also of Joliet, already has been convicted of murder in connection with this shooting and is serving a 61-year prison sentence.

Zambrano and Sanchez confronted Gooch at the apartment of Gooch’s girlfriend, Ellissa Hinton, according to trial testimony. Hinton testified she was having sex occasionally with Sanchez, but that she wouldn’t allow their relationship to go further by leaving Gooch.

Hinton testified she and Gooch had watched the NBA playoffs and had gone to bed on the night of the murder. Later that evening, Gooch answered the apartment buzzer while she remained in the bedroom. She testified she heard Sanchez’s voice in the living room and someone saying “my girl” just before she heard a single gunshot.

She went to the living room to find Gooch lying on the floor bleeding from the head. An autopsy revealed Gooch died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Gooch’s two young children were sleeping on a sofa bed inthe living room at the time of the murder.

“These two thugs committed an act of despicable brutality by gunning down an unarmed man while his two children were asleep in the sameroom,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Jesus Zambrano has been taken off our streets thanks to a first-rate investigation by the Joliet Police Department and top-notch trial work by prosecutors Dan Walsh and Tricia McKenna.”

The prosecutors entered into evidence security tapes from the apartment complex showing Zambrano and Sanchez arriving at the parking lot in Sanchez’s car, getting out of the vehicle and then returning to the car before driving away. A witness testified he saw Zambrano retrieve an object from under the hood of the car before the two entered the apartment complex.Zambrano and Sanchez were caught on video running from the building after Goochwas shot