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Judge overturns jury’s $3.5M verdict in Chicago police shooting case

Associate Judge Elizabeth Budzinski recently reversed the Cook County jury’s decision to award $3.5 million in damages to the estate of 19-year-old Niko Husband, who was allegedly gunned down by members of the Chicago Police Department in Illinois for no reason in July 2011 near 80th Street and Ashland Avenue.

Priscilla Price, Husband’s mother, has already asked her lawyers to appeal to Budzinski to reinstate the Nov. 6, 2015 verdict in favor of Husband and not the city. Judge Budzinski based her decision to reverse the jury’s ruling on their answer to a written question in which they indicated that they believed Officer Proano fear for his life before shooting Husband.

Police said Husband had a weapon on him and tried to resist arrest, necessitating their use of violence on him. Marco Proano, the veteran police officer who was identified as the one who shot three rounds into Husband’s chest at close range, was not only cleared by the city’s police oversight agency, but was also awarded a commendation for valor.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices in Champaign are very much experienced when it comes to defending clients in criminal cases. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000 to learn how we can help you.


Chicago police officer assigned $1.5M bond in Laquan McDonald case

Thirty-seven-year-old Chicago, Illinois police officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged on Tuesday, November 24 with first degree murder in relation to the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014, was assigned a bond of $1.5 million on Monday, November 30.

Local authorities released dash cam video footage showing McDonald walking along a Chicago street on the southwest side of the city and Van Dyke repeatedly shooting him. McDonald was reportedly carrying a small knife with him at the time of the shooting, and blood tests taken during the autopsy have revealed traces of PCP in his system, suggestions he was high at the time.

Dan Herbert, Van Dyke’s legal counsel, said the set bond is being taken as a good sign, considering that the judge ordered Van Dyke held without bail just last week. The newest development comes after Herbert argued that his client is not a flight risk.

If you are facing criminal charges in Champaign, contact the legal team at the Bruno Law Offices by calling (217) 328-6000 today. Our criminal defense attorneys will work to protect you and your rights during this time.


Champaign jury rejects self-defense plea and convicts man in shooting

A jury in Champaign County deliberated for five hours on April 9 before rejecting 30-year-old local Micah Hopkins’ claim that he shot 26-year-old local Allen Redding repeatedly in self-defense, thereby convicting Hopkins of first-degree murder, according to the News-Gazette.

Redding suffered eight gunshot wounds in the yard of his cousin’s home at around 5:30 p.m. on June 24, 2014. The incident began over a dispute about money. Although two other men were originally implicated in the crime, the charges against them were dismissed.

Sentencing for this conviction will occur in May; Hopkins is expected to receive 45 years to life in prison.

First-degree murder, which is a charge described as the unlawful killing of another person either intentionally or while committing a different felony, is a grave criminal offense that results in serious implications to the freedom of those convicted. If you have been charged with this crime in Champaign, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Bruno Law Offices by dialing 217-328-6000 today to learn how we may help you challenge every aspect of the case against you.


Shooting suspect to stand for his defense

Thirty-year-old Champaign, Illinois resident Micah Hopkins was recently tried before the Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd for charges of first-degree murder, the News-Gazette reported on April 8.

This was the same day that Hopkins was slated to stand for his own defense. Hopkins was accused of shooting and killing Allen Redding, 26, who used to be his friend before a dispute arose about money.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Shiping Bao, said Redding could have remained alive with seven gunshot wounds but not the eighth, as the bullet pierced through his aorta and resulted in internal bleeding that quickly killed him.

A gun was found next to Redding, and witnesses have various accounts that include a second shooter.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Champaign, the legal team at the Bruno Law Offices may work to protect your future. For an initial appointment with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys, call our offices at (217) 328-6000 today.


Chapel Hill triple-murder suspect charged with first-degree murder

A grand jury in Durham County, North Carolina indicted 46-year-old Craig Hicks on three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of three Muslim college students, identified as 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his 21-year-old wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, The Herald-Sun reported on February 16.

They were reportedly shot on February 10 at their home in the Finley Forest condominium complex on Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill.

Police authorities were able to confiscate 12 pieces of firearms in Hicks’ apartment, which consist of four handguns, two shotguns, and six rifles, all of which came with ammunition, search warrants showed.

One bullet was found within the vicinity of the married couple’s condominium while eight shell casings were discovered in the couple’s living room.

According to authorities from the Chapel Hill Police Department, the victims each received a shot in the head with a handgun.

Our attorneys at Bruno Law Offices are aggressive criminal defense attorneys who represent those charged with a criminal offense in the Champaign and Urbana areas of Illinois. For an initial appointment, call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Man who murdered own mother found not guilty due to insanity

Thirty-two-year-old Champaign, Illinois resident Terry Lee Brownlee was found not guilty by reason of insanity for murdering his mother, 61-year-old Sharon Brownlee last year on Friday, January 31 by Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd.

Brownlee said he also caused a fire that was discovered by the authorities at around 6:10 a.m. He was charged with murder, aggravated arson, residential arson, and concealment of homicidal death on April 12, 2013 and has been under the custody of the police since then.

Brownlee was declared unfit for trial, meaning he didn’t understand the charges against him and the crimes he was accused, and wouldn’t be able to properly defend himself, in June 2013. In November, the findings against him were reversed and he was declared fit for trial.

Prior to the hearing last Friday, Assistant State Attorney Dan Clifton and Assistant Public Defenders Janie Miller-Jones and Lindsey Yanchus asked Ladd to consider the assessment made by Champaign psychiatrist Lawrence Jeckel regarding his evaluation of Brown’s “criminal responsibility.”

Our lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices are prepared to help people in Champaign who have been charged with murder or other serious criminal offense. Call our offices at (217) 328-6000 to set up an initial appointment and discuss your defense options.

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