Will County prosecutor, DUI expert Debbie Mills receives Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists honor

October 24

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is proud to announce that one of his assistant state’s attorneys, Debbie Mills, will be honored by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists for her skill and dedication in prosecuting drunken driving cases.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mills will receive the award at AAIM’s Annual Benefit Gala on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Medinah Banquets in Addison. She will be honored that evening along with many prosecutors, police officers, victim advocates and AAIM supporters from throughout Illinois for their contributions in the fight against drunken driving.

Mills, who served as the Chief of State’s Attorney Glasgow’s Misdemeanor Division, is an expert in the area of DUI law, having reviewed and charged countless drunken driving cases and having personally prosecuted many of the county’s most significant felony DUI trials.

Most notably, she led the prosecution team that secured a conviction and a 9-1/2 year prison term for Cecil Conner, a drunken driver who caused a one-car wreck that killed a 5-year-old boy in May 2010 in south suburban Steger. Michael Langford Jr., the son of Conner’s girlfriend, had been sleeping in the backseat when the car crossed the center line, drove across several lawns, ripped down a fence and collided with a pine tree at between 66-73 mph. Conner’s blood-alcohol level tested at .180.

Under Mills’ direction, the Misdemeanor Division charged and prosecuted more than 2,000 misdemeanor DUI cases annually. In her role as chief, Mills personally reviewed all misdemeanor DUI arrests to determine whether defendants qualified for felony upgrades under Illinois law. 

Mills also has conducted training for police and prosecutors on the enforcement of Illinois DUI laws over the years. And she has spoken in the community about the consequences people face when they choose to drink and drive. She currently serves as a felony prosecutor.

“This is a tremendous honor for a dedicated prosecutor whose hard work has taken countless DUI offenders off of our roads,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “There is no doubt in my mind that our streets are safer because of Debbie’s skillful trial work on tough DUI prosecutions like the Cecil Conner case. And as my Misdemeanor Division Chief, she reviewed each DUI with a sharp eye to make certain every offender was prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law. I am extraordinarily pleased that AAIM has given her this recognition.”

Before coming to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office in 2002, Mills worked for the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted misdemeanors, criminal traffic offenses, felony narcotics cases and other felony offenses. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law.

AAIM was founded as a grassroots organization in 1982 by victims of drunk driving in order to save lives on Illinois roadways. The annual benefit supports AAIM’s Victim Assistance Fund, which was created to help victims deal with the financial impacts of DUI crashes.

Former Frankfort attorney gets 30 years for soliciting murder of ex-wife

October 20
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced on Wednesday that a former Frankfort attorney found guilty of soliciting the murder of his ex-wife has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak in March found Robert Gold-Smith, 54, guilty of Solicitation of Murder for Hire, an enhanced Class X Felony that carries a penalty of up to 40 years in prison.

Gold-Smith approached a fellow detainee at the Will County Adult Detention Facility and offered to pay him to kill his ex-wife. Gold-Smith made the offer while he was in jail on Aggravated Domestic Battery charges involving his ex-wife.

A wire conversation between Gold-Smith and Brian McDaniel was recorded at the jail and played during his bench trial. McDaniel also testified against Gold-Smith.

The domestic battery charges are pending. Also pending is a Class 3 charge of Communicating With A Witness that alleges Gold-Smith contacted McDaniel indirectly while the solicitation case was pending in an effort to sway his testimony.

State’s Attorney Glasgow credited Assistant State’s Attorneys Adam Capelli and Peter Wilkes with securing the conviction and sentence in the solicitation for murder case.

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 partners with Joliet Park District to create Wellness Program for Specialty Court participants

October 17

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and the Joliet Park District announce a partnership on a unique trial program designed to help participants in various specialty courts focus on their fitness and nutrition.

The Specialty Courts Wellness Program will bring a dozen participants from Drug Court, Veterans Court, Mental Health Court and/or Adult Redeploy Illinois Court to the Joliet Park District’s Inwood Athletic Club, where they will exercise and learn about healthy eating. Participants in these Specialty Courts have been charged with certain non-violent offenses stemming from their addictions to either drugs or alcohol or from their mental health issues. 

Joliet Park District Nutrition Supervisor Gloria Dollinger, RDN, LDN, (from left) discusses the implementation of a Wellness Program at the Inwood Athletic Club for Specialty Court participants with Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, Park District Executive Director Tom Carstens and Specialty Courts Coordinator Julie McCabe-Sterr.

The Wellness Program, which begins on Oct. 19, will require participants to meet for one hour each week for six weeks at Inwood. They will begin the sessions by discussing healthy eating habits with the Park District’s nutrition experts, followed by supervised exercise programs that include: bands and body weight fitness; relaxation yoga; strength training; body weight training and yoga; and interval training and weights. Nutrition discussions will focus on educating participants about the benefits of healthy eating, which includes meal planning, incorporating fruits and vegetables into diets, eating nourishing breakfasts, and consuming water instead of other beverages.

“The individuals in our Specialty Courts struggle with addiction or with various mental health issues. In the case of veterans, these issues can include not only drug addictions, but Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from their service to our Nation,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “The exercise regime and healthy eating habits required through this pilot program will provide these individuals with the skills and discipline necessary to become healthy and cope with the daily stressors that brought them into contact with the criminal justice system.”

In addition to the one-hour weekly sessions, participants in the pilot program will receive a 10-week membership to the Inwood Athletic Club. Once the trial program is completed, it will be evaluated by the Park District and the State’s Attorney’s Office with an eye toward offering it to future Specialty Court participants.

The Wellness Program will be directed by two of the Joliet Park District’s nutrition and/or fitness experts: Gloria Dollinger, RDN, LDN, Nutrition Supervisor; and Tracee Carr, Group Fitness and Yoga Instructor.

“Learning healthy exercise and eating strategies can give the participant a greater sense of well-being, feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives,” Dollinger said.

In Specialty Courts, prosecutors and defense attorneys work with the judge and treatment providers to help defendants who have committed non-violent offenses battle their addictions and manage their mental health issues. 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 court sessions. If they successfully complete their programs, the criminal charges filed against them are dismissed.

The Wellness Program is one of many Specialty Court innovations enacted under State’s Attorney Glasgow’s direction. The State’s Attorney supervised the opening and operation of the first Drug Court run recovery homes – one for men (the Miller Taylor House), and one for women (the Julie Ann House) – for those who are nearing the completion of the program. In addition, the State’s Attorney has incorporated the use of several specially trained therapy dogs to relax participants and ease tensions during groups counseling sessions.

“Our Specialty Courts succeed on two critical fronts,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “On one level, the program provides the necessary treatment and counseling services to help non-violent offenders deal effectively with the addictions and mental health issues that drove them to commit their crimes in the first place. On a larger scale, Specialty Courts help the entire community by turning around the lives of people who once had been a financial burden on society. Everyone benefits when a defendant stops committing crimes and becomes a productive citizen who holds a job, pursues an education, owns a home, raises a family and pays taxes.”

State’s Attorney Glasgow announces new weapon in fight against child porn: First dog in Illinois trained to sniff out hidden electronic devices

October 4

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is proud to announce the latest weapon in the fight against child pornography: a lanky, rambunctious Black Labrador that has been specially trained to detect hidden electronic devices.

In what is a first for Illinois, State’s Attorney Glasgow has purchased Cache (pronounced cash) from Jordan Detection K-9 in Greenfield, Ind. The 75-pound dog will serve in the High Technology Crimes Unit that the State’s Attorney created in 2012 to track down and prosecute those who produce, distribute and/or download child pornography on the Internet. The State’s Attorney utilized funds he has seized from criminal activities to cover the cost of Cache and his training as well as for dog supplies.

Cache with handler Megan Brooks, trainer Todd Jordan of Jordan Detection K-9, and Cheri Johnson, who helped to establish the therapy dog program at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Cache was owned and trained by Todd Jordan, an Indiana firefighter who pioneered the training of dogs to detect a proprietary chemical used in SD cards, thumb drives or other electronic devices that can store digital content.

Jordan, who originally trained dogs to identify accelerants at fire scenes, became well-known when his first electronic detection dog, which is named Bear, sniffed out electronic devices hidden inside Subway pitchman Jared Fogle’s sprawling Indiana home. Bear later located key evidence in United States Gymnastics Coach Marvin Sharp’s residence as well as in his gymnasium. Jordan has since trained six electronic detection K9s.

High Technology Crimes Unit investigators can identify Internet Protocol Addresses used to download or transmit child pornography and then identify suspects. However, in an effort to throw off investigators, suspects will hide tiny SD cards or other digital storage devices inside what are often extremely cluttered houses or apartments, many of which could be featured in the TV show “Hoarders.” Cache will help Will County investigators find the proverbial needle in the haystack during the execution of search warrants. Once found, the devices can be inspected on site for child pornography by highly trained forensic investigators.

Cache and Will County State’s Attorney’s Office Investigator Megan Brooks, who will be his handler.

“My investigative team will be the first Internet Crimes Against Children unit in Illinois to possess this important new tool in the battle to stop child pornography,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Cache and his highly sensitive nose will take the execution of search warrants to a new level, making it harder for suspects to thwart investigators by hiding their stashes of child pornography. I also look forward to assisting other law enforcement agencies at both the state and federal level by making Cache available to them whenever possible.”

Cache can detect the chemicals in electronic devices, not the content that is stored inside them. This means that the dog could be called out to locate these devices for many other law enforcement situations as well.

Investigator Megan Brooks of the State’s Attorney’s High Technology Crimes Unit will be Cache’s handler 24 hours a day. Brooks also will take on the continuation of a specific and highly involved training regimen to keep Cache’s skills sharp and maintain his willingness to work. She will travel back to Jordan Detection K-9 later in October for several weeks of training with Cache before putting the dog to work in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Cache is the first dog in Illinois trained to detect SD cards, thumb drives or other electronic devices that can store digital content that could include child pornography.

Brooks has been involved in the investigation of more than 100 child pornography cases since State’s Attorney Glasgow created the High Technology Crimes Unit in 2012. The conviction rate for the cases that have been adjudicated is 100 percent. Of the total number of cases, roughly 30 involved “contact offenses” in which the defendant had either sexually abused a local child or contacted children online to exploit them.

When he arrives in early November, Cache will join a team of canines at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. While Cache will be a K-9 involved in criminal investigations, there are four therapy dogs – Jackson, Malley, Kiwi and Angus – working in the office to provide comfort to child abuse victims at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center as well as to participants in Veterans Court, Drug Court and Mental Health Court. Kiwi and Angus are trained to assist children while they are testifying in court.

“I have always loved dogs. Every night when I come home from work, they are there to greet me without fail. They are always there to provide unconditional love without request,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “The dogs that work in my office have been embraced by my staff as well as all those who visit. They also provide important therapeutic services to crime victims and other individuals who struggle with addictions and mental health issues.”

For information on Cache and other electronic detection dogs, visit on the Web at http://www.electronicdetectionk9.com/.

Joliet man convicted of murder in 2014 shooting on Chicago Street

September 19

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a judge has found a Joliet man guilty of first-degree murder for gunning down a man in the alley behind the victim’s Chicago Street apartment two years ago.

Aloysius Alexander, 31, of the 300 block of North Bluff Street, shot Johnny Lockhart, 59, in an alley in the 500 block of North Chicago Street on Dec. 6, 2014. Alexander also shot the victim’s son, Ledontia Lockhart, in the back. Ledontia Lockhart, however, survived the attack and testified against Alexander at a bench trial that concluded earlier this month.

Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes, who presided over the bench trial, also found Alexander guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting Ledontia Lockhart as well as unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. The defendant faces up to life in prison for these crimes. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 2.

Alexander and two friends, Brian Gregory and Mike Smith, went to the Chicago Street apartment building to confront Ledontia Lockhart over a $400 money order he had been accused of taking and cashing. The money order belonged to Smith’s girlfriend. Both Gregory and Smith testified against Alexander.

Johnny Lockhart had come down the stairs in the alley when he heard noise from an altercation between his son and the three men who came to confront him. Alexander unexpectedly opened fire on both Johnny Lockhart and Ledontia Lockhart as they were walking back up the stairs.

Gregory and Smith ran to their car followed by Alexander. They dropped off Alexander at the Evergreen Terrace apartment complex where he lives. The defendant turned himself in to police the following day.

“Aloysius Alexander is a violent and cold-blooded killer who gunned down an innocent man for no apparent reason after shooting his son in the back,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “He will be placed behind prison bars in the Illinois Department of Corrections where he can spend his time contemplating this senseless act of violence.”

The State’s Attorney thanked his prosecutors, Derek Ewanic and Adam Capelli, for securing a conviction against Alexander.

Lockport man gets nine years for beating fiancé with brass knuckles

August 26

Lockport man gets nine years for beating fiancé with brass knuckles 

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Lockport man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for beating his fiancé while wearing brass knuckles earlier this year.

Robert Szymanski, 26, of the 1700 block of Hamilton, also looped his belt around the woman’s neck and choked her during the Jan. 16 attack.

Szymanski entered a blind plea of guilty to domestic battery-related charges on June 22. Associate Judge Edward Burmila handed down the nine-year sentence on Friday.

The defendant became enraged at his fiancé after consuming alcohol and Xanax for which he did not have a prescription. At first he threw her down on the couch and began choking her with his hands, and then he began punching her in the head and body while wearing brass knuckles.

At one point during the attack, he choked her unconscious only to begin choking her with his belt after she awoke. During the attack, Szymanski told her that she was his “property.”

She slipped out of the house and had a relative take her to the emergency room after he fell asleep. After receiving treatment, she reported the attack to Lockport Police, resulting in Szymanski’s arrest.

The victim suffered a fractured hand and serious bruising about her neck, head and body.

“Robert Szymanski brutally attacked this woman during a drug-and-alcohol fueled rage,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “I applaud this woman for her courage in coming forward and cooperating with our Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit to hold him accountable for this act of uncontrolled violence.”

The State’s Attorney credited his Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit and prosecutor Katie Rabenda for securing the guilty plea and sentence that places this dangerous abuser behind bars.

Joliet man charged with indecent solicitation of Mokena boy

August 26

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Joliet man has been charged with discussing sex with Mokena boy in a series of email exchanges and then traveling to meet him.

Paul Frank Hicks, 41, of the 700 block of North Raynor, was formally charged Friday with Indecent Solicitation of a Minor, Traveling to Meet a Minor, Grooming, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. He faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

Hicks was taken into custody Thursday following an investigation by the Mokena Police Department and State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit.

The investigation began after the child’s father discovered an email exchange between his son and the defendant. The two had connected via an advertisement that was posted on craigslist.

Charges allege that the defendant discussed sex with the boy and that he traveled to his house in Mokena to meet him for that purpose in the early-morning hours of July 7. The two met inside the defendant’s car, but the youth exited the vehicle without sexual contact having occurred. The charges also allege the defendant knew through the email exchanges that the person he was going to meet was a child.

Investigators executed a search warrant on the defendant’s home and took possession of his computer and other electronic devices. The discovery of a substance containing hydrocodone during the search led to the Possession of a Controlled Substance charge.

Bond was set at $200,000 on Friday. The defendant must post 10 percent or $20,000 to secure his release while he is 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.

Illinois State Crime Commission presents State’s Attorney Glasgow with distinguished Career Achievement Award during annual dinner

June 16

JOLIET – The Illinois State Crime Commission on Wednesday honored Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow with a 2016 Career Achievement Award during its annual Salute To Those Who Make a Difference Awards Dinner.

Illinois State Crime Commission Executive Director Jerry Elsner, along with evening emcees Ramblin’ Ray Stevens from country radio station US99 and Chicago area business leader Perry Mandera, presented the honor to State’s Attorney Glasgow.

The honor acknowledges the State’s Attorney’s successful prosecution of former Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for her murder, which he had staged to look like an accident. The honor further acknowledges Glasgow’s resolve to remain focused on prosecuting criminals and running his office despite Peterson’s recent efforts from prison to hire someone to kill him. Peterson was recently convicted of solicitation of murder for hire in downstate Randolph County and faces an additional 40 to 60 years in prison.

“Throughout this ordeal Jim has remained focused on running his office,” the honor reads. “He personally secured life sentences in two notorious murder cases involving the chokehold deaths of two young men. He considers his most important contributions to be the creation of a specialized prosecution unit to fight domestic violence, the establishment of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center and a Crimes Against Children Unit to eradicate child predators, and the formation of several specialty courts, including a Veterans Court, a Drug Court and a Mental Health Court, to help people struggling with addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness reclaim their lives.”

In addition to the Career Achievement Award, State’s Attorney Glasgow has received the prestigious State’s Attorney of the Year honor from the Illinois State Crime Commission on four occasions over the past two decades, most recently in 2015.

“I am humbled by the Career Achievement honor bestowed on me by the Illinois State Crime Commission for the work my office has performed on behalf of women, children and other crime victims,” Glasgow said. “I have a first-rate team of prosecutors, legal secretaries, victim advocates and administrators that works tirelessly to prosecute criminals and protect crime victims. Honors like these are also a testament to their hard work and dedication.”

State’s Attorney Glasgow received his Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois Law School. He and his wife, Gina, are the proud parents of five children. He currently is serving his fifth term as Will County’s elected State’s Attorney.

2016 Dangers of Heroin Art Scholarship Contest

January 25

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that his office is hosting an art contest for high school students to raise awareness in our community about the deadly dangers of using heroin.

The contest, open to any student who attends a Will County high school, will provide valuable college scholarships for the three winners whose artwork best illustrates the horrific consequences of using heroin.

→ Download Contest Rules (PDF | 500k)

The First Place Winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship for a university, college, trade school or other post-high school educational institution. Second and Third Place Winners will receive $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships respectively.

In addition, the winning work will be reproduced and featured prominently in an updated version of State’s Attorney Glasgow’s Gang Awareness and Prevention Book, scheduled for release later in 2016. The First Place Winner’s work will be placed on the entire back cover of the book.

Participating high schools must designate a school representative to coordinate submissions for the contest with the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. High School art programs may incorporate the project into their curricula. Students also may work independently, provided their work is submitted through a designated school representative.

“The purpose of this contest is to involve our young people in raising awareness about the heroin scourge that is destroying so many lives and killing so many people, not just in Will County, but across our Nation,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “I hope participating students will first educate themselves about the horrendous dangers of using heroin, and then use their knowledge to create an original piece of artwork that drives home the message for people of all ages.” 

In Will County last year, 51 people died from heroin overdoses. It was the second highest number of heroin-related overdose deaths for a one-year period in the county’s history. For the past six years, State’s Attorney Glasgow has been working with organizations like HERO, HELPS, and the Southwest Coalition for Substance Abuse Issues to coordinate annual heroin education summits that seek solutions to the heroin epidemic.

The scholarships for the art contest will be funded through money seized from criminals who were engaged in narcotics trafficking.

“I can think of no better way to spend money that otherwise would have been used to pump deadly poison onto our streets than to redirect these resources toward an educational campaign aimed directly at eliminating the market for heroin,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “The theme of this art contest is deadly serious. Any students who participate can say they contributed an important voice to this cause.”

The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. April 8, 2016. Winners will be announced the week of April 25.