Four Chicago residents accused of hate crime

Four people were charged with hate crimes, kidnapping, aggravated battery, and aggravated lawful restraint on Thursday, January 5 in relation to a video posted on Facebook that showed them assaulting a man.

Authorities said they found the disoriented victim wandering the streets and were able to surmise that the assault had gone on for hours. The suspects can be seen in the video cursing white people and President-elect Donald Trump.

According to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the 18-year-old man from Chicago was singled out not because he was a white man but because he was mentally disabled. The parents of the victim told police that he was missing on Monday, January 2 and they later received text messages from people who claimed they had kidnapped him. The victim was with classmates who turned out to be attackers, and the victim initially went with them by his own volition, police said. The video showed the victim had a gaping wound on his head and a person pushing the victim with his or her foot was also shown in the video.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices provide legal services to our clients in Champaign and other areas in Illinois. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Gang rap videos used in murder trial still questionable

Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis issued a ruling that two violent gang rap videos cannot be used as “substantive evidence” in the defense of 18-year-old Champaign, Illinois resident Shamario Brown. Brown was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm, leading the judge to say the videos can be used to discredit the credibility of state witnesses.

Brown is set to be tried on Monday, January 30 for the June 12, 2016 murder of 30-year-old Champaign resident Ericka Cox-Bailey, who died when a bullet from a passing car struck her as she was walking along Francis Drive near McKinley Avenue. Police officials say the shots that killed her were intended for members of a rival gang. Champaign resident Oshay Cotton and East Macon, Georgia resident Takario Greene, both 19, who were inside the passing car with Brown, were also charged for Cox-Bailey’s murder.

We at the Bruno Law Offices are problem solvers and are great with overcoming challenges. As such, individuals who are charged with criminal offenses should know we will come up with comprehensive and strategic legal defenses. Call our Champaign offices today at (217) 328-6000 to discuss your case.


Former congressman Aaron Schock pleads not guilty to felony charges

Thirty-five-year-old former Representative Aaron Schock (Republican of Illinois) has maintained his innocence ever since federal prosecutors charged him with 24-count indictment in November, pleading not guilty last Monday, December 12 to two dozen counts of felony corruption, including wire and mail fraud, stealing government funds, filing false tax returns, and falsifying federal campaign forms.

Federal prosecutors accused Schock of using his campaign funds and congressional office to purchase things for himself.

Timothy Bass, one of such prosecutors, is apprehensive about allowing Schlock to continue using his campaign funds to pay for his attorney’s fees and other “unsupervised expenditures”, saying, “These campaign funds are potential victims of the crimes charged.

If you are facing prosecution for a criminal charge in the Champaign-Urbana area of Illinois, or other areas in the state, do not hesitate to seek legal representation from our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices by calling us today at (217) 328-6000 as soon as you can. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team today.


Fourth suspect in U.S. Cellular in Dixon robbery arrested

A fourth suspect, in connection to an armed robbery at a store of telecommunications company U.S. Cellular in Dixon, Illinois, was taken into police custody.

The robbery happened at the Keul Road store on Thursday, November 10 around 7:30 p.m. Reports showed that three individuals who were wearing masks and who were carrying handguns infiltrated the store and ordered the store’s employees to file into a back room, where they would be tied up. After securing the employees, the robbers made off with several items and cash.

On Tuesday, November 29, 23-year-old Anthony Jamerson surrendered to the Dixon Police Department. He was charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated armed robbery, and unlawful restraint.

In order to convict you of criminal offenses, prosecutors in Champaign-Urbana will need to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that you had both a specific intent and knowledge of the offense that you have been charged with. Get in touch with our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices by calling our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Man charged with drug possession can face up to 30 years in jail

Juvon Mays, 35, is facing up to 30 years of imprisonment on charges of possession with intent to deliver both heroin and cannabis. The Champaign, Illinois man will face sentencing by Judge Heidi Ladd on Wednesday, December 21.

Mays’ trial began on Monday, November 14. During a raid on the house where Mays was arrested, police investigators managed to recover one gun behind a house Mays was exiting; two guns near a garage at the same house; and a bag of heroin, which reportedly weighed 4 grams, under a car located about three houses down. No guns or drugs were found on Mays’ person.

We at the Bruno Law Offices are prepared to protect you and your legal rights in court if you employ our legal representation for your criminal defense case in Champaign or another area of Illinois. Contact us today at (217) 328-6000 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team about your situation.


Former U.S. congressman Aaron Schock receives indictment on two criminal counts

Thirty-five-year-old former United States Representative Aaron Schock (Republican of Illinois) once had a $5,000 chandelier attached to his government office, cementing the rumors that he loved the good and expensive life.

In a sweeping 24-count grand jury indictment given to him on Thursday, November 10 in Springfield, prosecutors constructed in detail the circumstances in which Schock used House of Representatives and campaign funds to support his lavish lifestyle.

Among the charges that Schock faces are nine counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, two counts of making false statements, five counts of filing false reports with federal election officials, and six counts of filing false tax returns.

In a statement, U.S. attorney in Springfield James Lewis said, “Mr. Schock held public office at the time of the alleged offenses, but public office does not exempt him or anyone else from accountability for alleged intentional misuse of public funds and campaign funds.”

Our attorneys at The Bruno Law Offices are focused on providing each and every one of our clients in Champaign-Urbana or other areas in Illinois with the personalized legal services that they require in order to win a criminal defense case. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Illinois state trooper convicted of misconduct and bribery

A jury in Vermilion County, Illinois deliberated for two hours last Tuesday, November 8 before finding 46-year-old Westville resident Keith Lumsargis, an Illinois state trooper, guilty of official misconduct and bribery.

Lumsargis, who worked for the state police for 13 years, was taken into police custody in May 2014 at the Possum Trot restaurant in Oakwood after treating a police officer from Tilton to dinner. At the time, Lumsargis believed the police officer fulfilled his promise to give parking tickets to his ex-girlfriend. Lumsargis allegedly solicited multiple village police officers through text messages and face-to-face conversations, during a period of three months, to stop Mary Bailey and give her a ticket, in early 2014.

Our lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices have successfully defended serious criminal cases in state and federal courts, including death penalty murder cases. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the Champaign-Urbana area or another area of Illinois, get in touch with us by calling our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Jury selection for Des Plaines man accused of attempted murder now underway

Jury selection for the trial of 20-year-old Des Plaines resident Daniel Dion began last Monday, October 31. Dion made a not guilty plea by reason of insanity to attempted murder charges in relation to allegedly stabbing and critically wounding a 24-year-old Vernon Hills woman outside the Century Theater in Deer Park.

Although the burden of the proof of the crime always lies with the prosecution, proving an insanity plea is on the shoulders of the defense. Under Illinois law, a jury or judge can find an accused not guilty by reason of insanity if the accused is ailing from a disease or defect of the mind “such that he lacks the substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct.”

Our criminal defense lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices, who provide legal services in Champaign-Urbana and other areas in Illinois, handle criminal defense cases such as gun crimes, violent crime, homicide and murder charges, and battery, among others. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to learn more about your legal options and discuss your situation.


Man charged with DUI after accident causes death to woman and unborn son

Normal, Illinois resident Lance Pitsch, 27, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in death and reckless homicide in Christian County. The charges come after he caused a vehicular accident on Illinois 48 near County Road 600 North in Morrisonville at approximately 3:20 p.m. on Friday, October 21. The crash resulted in the death of 25-year-old Jessica Tyson Ragan and her unborn son.

Ragan and the unborn child, who she planned to name Jovian when she gave birth in December, succumbed to mortal injuries at Taylorville Memorial Hospital around 4:20 p.m. the same day as the accident. Pitsch was also airlifted to a hospital, but he was able to appear in court on Monday, October 24. His next day in court will take place on October 31, and his bond was set at $500,000.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices, who provide legal services for our clients in Champaign-Urbana and other areas of Illinois, handle criminal defense cases such as car accidents and wrongful death suits.


Champaign landlord to receive sentencing in fraud case

Seventy-three-year-old Champaign, Illinois landlord and architect Gene Hardwick is scheduled to appear at the United States District Court in Urbana on Friday, October 14. If found guilty, Hardwick will have to spend 24 months in federal prison for defrauding Longview State Bank after he is sentenced by U.S. Judge Colin Bruce.

According to court documents, Hardwick made a loan of $3.9 million from Longview Bank in 2007 to allegedly erect a 64-unit apartment building at 611 E. Park Street, C. However, when a bank examiner from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. inspected the address to assess Longview’s loan portfolio, the examiner “discovered an empty parking lot.”

The bank had already paid out around $2.4 million when the fraud was discovered. A major dispute between the prosecution and the defense was the amount of loss, with the prosecution saying that it was “at most, $391,349” and the defense saying its “unauthorized personal expenses was $43,417.”

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Champaign or another area in Illinois, get in touch with our criminal defense attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices by calling our offices today at (217) 328-6000.

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