Hate Crime Defendants Move Toward Trial as DNA Evidence Comes In
Defense attorneys forgo independent review of DNA evidence while defendants profess their innocence.
Attorneys for two men accused last summer of a hate crime and robbery have given up their right to an independent review of DNA collected at the alleged scene of the crime, moving the case toward trial.
Hickory Hills police say Mohammad Shaban, 35, of Hickory Hills, and Akram Alshoweat, 22, of Oak Lawn, battered and robbed a woman they believed to be a lesbian on June 28, 2010 outside of a restaurant. Last summer, a source close to the investigation said the woman lived in Palos Hills.
In court Thursday morning, prosecutors handed defense attorneys a two-page Illinois State Crime Lab report that analyzed the DNA. Following the proceeding, defense attorney Michael Monaco was heard discussing the possibility of a plea offer with assistant state's attorney Michael Pekara.
The evidence collected against Shaban and Alshoweat thus far includes lab work on fingerprints and DNA samples, and a copy of the 911 call and police report, according to prosecutors.
Speaking on his and Alshoweat’s behalf Thursday, Shaban alleged, as he did earlier this year, that the charges are mere “stories” propagated by the woman and that the truth of the matter will overcome the “lies.”
“You can’t hide the sun,” Shaban said, pointing toward the courthouse ceiling. “The truth will eventually show, and we’ll be dismissed.”
When asked why the woman would do such a thing, Shaban shrugged his shoulders. Although he hadn’t said a word throughout the conversation, Alshoweat ended the interview with a flick of his wrist.
Defense attorneys declined to comment on whether Alshoweat or Shaban had ever met the woman prior to the charges.
They are scheduled to return to court July 27.