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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.


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.


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.


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.


Derrick Rose’s lawyers say accused rape was consensual

The legal counsel for 28-year-old New York Knicks player Derrick Rose insisted on Wednesday, October 5 that the woman bringing rape charges against Rose willingly had sex with him at Rose’s mansion in Beverly Hills. The plaintiff is also accusing two of Rose’s friends with the rape of an impaired woman.

Rose’s lawyers said the text messages the woman sent to Rose after a party indicated that the woman was lucid and not intoxicated after leaving Rose’s mansion. A clip from a deposition showed Rose saying “No” when asked if he understood what consent meant. The plaintiff’s attorneys argued  “His friends may have pushed this issue, but all three certainly knew that she was severely intoxicated, she could not consent and she would have never consented.”

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, hire the legal services of our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices by dialing (217) 328-6000 today. Schedule an initial appointment with a qualified member of our legal team as soon as you can.


Sexual abuse lawsuit against scout leader allowed to proceed in court

Illinois Appellate Court decided on Friday, September 30 that a civil lawsuit lodged by former members of the Oak Lawn Boy Scout troop in Cook County can proceed to trial. Their trial concerns the members’ claims that they were sexually molested by their scout leader, Thomas Hacker, in the 1980’s.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by 16 former Boy Scouts of America – who are now adult men – after the agency released a list of names of hundreds of pedophiles in the scouting system. The complaint alleges that the BSA oversight committee made it possible for Hacker to gain access into the upper echelons of the organization and molest many young boys.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices dedicate our personalized and undivided attention to every single detail of the cases we take on. We know the details can spell the difference between an acquittal and a conviction for our client. Get in touch with our criminal defense lawyers today by calling our Champaign offices at (217) 328-6000.


Man walks free after DNA evidence exonerates him from murder charge

Fifty-five-year-old Chicago resident Mark Maxson was released from Stateville Correctional Center last Tuesday, September 27 after a Cook County judge ruled Maxson did not commit his crimes. Maxson went to jail for the 1992 rape and murder of six-year-old boy Lindsey Murdock, but DNA evidence showed he was actually innocent.

The Cook County District Attorney’s Office supported exonerating Maxson, noting that no physical evidence linked Maxson to the crime. In addition, defense attorney Elliott Zinger said a re-investigation discovered Maxson’s confession was merely coerced by members of the Chicago Police Department under John Burge.

If you are a resident of Champaign-Urbana or another area of Illinois and you are in danger of going to prison for a crime such as a sexual offense, murder, or assault, trust the attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices to competently handle your case. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to schedule an initial appointment with a qualified member of our legal team.


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.

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