Home  >  Page 3

Urbana man sentenced to prison time for performing sexual act on unconscious woman

Twenty-one-year-old Urbana, Illinois resident Markel Brown was sentenced to three years of imprisonment on Thursday, September 8 for performing sexual acts on a woman who was passed out in a house in the 1100 block of Austin Drive in Urbana on Feb. 3, 2016.

Judge Tom Difanis disgusted with the act, said it was “outrageous” and that the sentence was necessary to prevent others from “taking advantage of a woman who is passed out”.

Despite a three-year sentence, Brown could be released after a year if he attains maximum credit for good behavior and time already served. He will have to register as a sex offender after being released.

The girl testified to drinking before arriving at the house where she and Brown were going to hang out. She is not sure whether it was Brown or other 21-year-old Urbana resident, Gerald B. Jackson, who assaulted her.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices, who provide legal services to our clients in Champaign or other areas in Illinois, handle criminal defense cases such as gun crimes, theft and burglary, drug possession, sex offenses, and homicide and murder charges, among others. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Nurse cleared of forgery charges

Two years after he was arrested, 47-year-old Danville resident and family nurse practitioner Michael C. Wagner was cleared of charges of one count of forgery and one count of unlawful acquisition of a controlled substance. Both of the felonies were in relation to accusations that Wagner prescribed medication that he wasn’t licensed to prescribe and signed prescriptions with another medical representative’s name.

Wagner was supposed to be tried for the charges on Monday, August 22. However, in a hearing on Friday, August 12, Vermillion County State Attorney Randy Brinegar dropped the charges against Wagner. Michael C. Wagner was allowed to continue his nursing practice at Central Illinois Family Practice at 603 N. Logan Avenue in Danville under Dr. Dennis Silver, whose name Wagner was accused of forging.

The state filed the charges against Wagner in January 2014 after a two-year investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and the Vermilion Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices provide legal services for our clients in Champaign-Urbana, and handle criminal defense cases such as drug possession and white collar crimes, among others. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to discuss your situation.


Convicted molester search continues

Thirty-five-year-old Urbana resident Kinzie Lee Schwab, who was convicted last Thursday, August 25 of criminal sexual assault and child pornography by a Champaign County jury, is currently at large.

Schwab was not present for any of his trial dates, which started last Tuesday, August 23. He made a court appearance last Monday, August 22 in Judge Tom Difanis’ courtroom with his legal counsel, Urbana attorney Evan Bruno, who was told to be ready for the Tuesday trial before Judge Hugh Finson. Even though Schwab failed to make an appearance during the trial days, the jury was instructed to disregard his lack of appearance and move on with the trial as planned. Bruno said he did not know of his client’s whereabouts, saying, “Myself and the Urbana Police Department have been in contact with several of his family members. From what we know, they don’t know where he is.”

The attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices, who provide legal services for our clients in Champaign and other areas of Illinois, handle criminal defense cases such as drug crimes and sex crimes, among others. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team.


Ex-ISU student acquitted of rape charges

24-year-old former Illinois State University student William Wells was acquitted of sexual assault charges on Friday, August 12 in McLean County Circuit Court in Illinois.

After a deliberation of about four hours, the jury returned with a not guilty verdict in the case of Wells, who was accused of raping a woman in February at his apartment in Normal. The trial lasted for four days and ended on Thursday, August 11. The jurors talked for around an hour on Thursday, and continued their discussion of the case at the Law and Justice Center on Friday morning. At the time of the supposed incident, Wells was a student at ISU and the woman, who was 18, was visiting from a college in northern Illinois.

Wells was also cleared of a charge of resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. Judge Robert Freitag also dismissed obstruction of justice charges against the accused. He agreed with Wells’ legal counsel, Stephanie Wong, that the state of Illinois was not able to provide sufficient evidence that Wells destroyed evidence at his apartment.

If you are charged with a criminal offense, such as rape or obstructing justice, in Champaign or another area of Illinois, contact our criminal defense attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices today by calling (217) 328-6000.


Harvard man sentenced to one year of jail for burglary charges

Thirty-two-year-old Harvard, Illinois resident Nathaniel Clem, who broke into some businesses in Eau Claire County, was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and three years on probation for a felony count of burglary on Friday, August 5 in Eau Claire County Court.

Judge Michael Schumacher said the imprisonment term of Clem – who was on his way to Lake Superior when he committed the burglaries on March 8, 2016, and was detained at Eau Claire County Jail since his arrest – will be waived if he completed his probation.

Thomas Starr, Clem’s legal counsel, said his client has “accepted that he has messed up and he messed up big time”.

Eau Claire County Assistant District Attorney Ellen Anderson, for her part, said, “It is very unusual to take responsibility like this defendant has taken.”

Twenty-year-old Neillsville in Clark County, Wisconsin resident Jessica Hackett, Clem’s co-defendant, was sentenced Monday, August 8 for one count of burglary.

The Bruno Law Offices, a premier criminal defense law firm in central Illinois, employs lawyers who have successfully defended clients from thousands of serious criminal offenses in the Champaign-Urbana and other areas in the state – some of which include death penalty murder cases. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Illinois’ new law about marijuana-impaired driving requires stiffer evidence for conviction

Local attorney Jeff Hall said that a new law in the state of Illinois regarding marijuana and impaired driving, has only slightly reduced the legal dangers – including longer prison terms – of causing a fatal vehicular accident after taking the drug.

Four individuals have been convicted since 2012 of causing a death while driving under the influence of marijuana in Tazewell County.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz said that the new DUI law regarding marijuana – which requires prosecutors to prove that a driver was impaired by marijuana at a time of an accident – is the right application of a DUI law. The DUI law regarding marijuana prior to this amendment did not require prosecutors to prove that the drivers were indeed impaired by marijuana, meaning the four convicted of DUI in Tazewell County may or may not have been improperly convicted.a

Our criminal defense lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices in Champaign-Urbana, who belong to the premier criminal and driving under the influence defense firm in central Illinois, understand that each criminal case is unique and has its own intricacies, and that is why we pay special attention to each and every one in order to win each and every one. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Former director of Tri-County Action Commission pleads not guilty

Sixty-year-old West Union Township resident Denise Birt pleaded not guilty on Friday, July 15 in relation to charges that she mismanaged the organization’s fund. Birt is the former director of the Tri-County Action Commission, a non-profit organization that provides services to people living in Logan, Champaign, and Shelby counties.

Birt’s five-count indictment includes three third-degree felonies – securing writings by deception, falsification, and theft – a fourth-degree felony count of theft, and misdemeanor charge of tampering with records. David Thomas, Birt’s defense attorney from Columbus, said imprisoning her was uncalled for. He noted, “It came as a complete surprise to us because we’ve been in communication with the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office, yet for some reason, they found it necessary to issue a secret indictment and a warrant to arrest a woman who is 60 years old and has no criminal record. She’s cooperated with the prosecutor’s office so far and there’s no reason to believe she will not continue to do so.”

The attorneys The Bruno Law Offices, handle criminal defense cases, including white collar crimes, all over Illinois and in federal courts. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to discuss your legal options.


Murderer of Danville woman sentenced to 17 years

Forty-five-year-old Danville resident George Harold Chapman faced first-degree murder charges in the death of 43-year-old Danville resident Angelica Vasquez. Around 7:45 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2011, Vasquez was found burned and half-clothed on the property of an abandoned farmhouse at 1315 N. Rising Road, just north of Bradley Avenue near Champaign.

In June, Vermillion County Circuit Judge Tom O’Shaughnessy sentenced Chapman to 17 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after Chapman pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder. Assistant State’s Attorney Sandy Lawlyes, who negotiated the plea agreement, said Chapman believed that his crime was done in self-defense. Lawlyes further claimed she “was concerned about a lesser offense being found by the jury after presentation by the defense…[and] felt the circumstances warranted a plea that would guarantee a guilty verdict.”

Murder charges are extremely serious allegations that can have debilitating effects on all aspects of your life. The criminal defense attorneys at The Bruno Law Offices in Champaign offer the most aggressive criminal defense strategies possible. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to learn more.


DUI arrests in Decatur are second-highest in the state of Illinois for 2015

Independent non-profit organization Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has reported that the Decatur Police Department in Illinois has made the second-highest number of driving under the influence arrests in the state in the year 2015, with 405 arrests.

The Carol Stream Police Department and the Rockford Police Department each placed first when it comes to DUI arrests, both garnering 470 arrests, the Annual Illinois DUI Arrest Survey for 2015 showed.

Other city and town police departments included in the top 10 for most number of DUI arrests in Illinois comprised of Springfield, Naperville, Peoria, Normal, Cicero, Elgin, Aurora, and Fairview Heights police departments.

Our Champaign-Urbana criminal defense lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices can help you protect your legal rights in court and fight the criminal charges that were brought against you so that you could get back with your normal way of living. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Witness denies claims that she implicated defendant in murder trial

Twenty-two-year-old Champaign resident Dashiona Fonville was arrested so that a jury could hear her testimony in a murder trial. According to The News-Gazette, Fonville claimed at least 120 times on Wednesday, June 22 that she could not remember much of her former testimony concerning the murder. Fonville originally claimed 22-year-old Champaign resident Brandon Collier was involved in the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Terron Jackson.

Judge Tom Difanis said the jury will have access to the recorded statement that Fonville gave to Champaign police investigators Andre Davis and Brad Krauel to have more information on the case. Another witness, 23-year-old Charnise Caraway, has also said that Collier was the shooter.

The attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices provide legal services to our clients in the Champaign-Urbana area and other areas of East Central Illinois. We are here to help people charged with criminal offenses in the state of Illinois, and we are committed to delivering high-quality criminal defense representation. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to discuss your legal options.

Bruno Law Offices
301 W Green St
Urbana, IL 61801
Tel: (217) 328-6000
Fax: (217) 328-6765

Contact Us Today