Jurcev Appears for Status Hearing in Election Fraud Case
This Week in Court Watch, March 5: Oak Forest sex assault case; Oak Lawn election fraud case; and murder case hearings for Orland Park, Frankfort and New Lenox cases.
The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
OAK LAWN— Myrna Jurcev, a community activist under indictment and accused of forging signatures on a petition to put a referendum on the election ballot, appeared for a status hearing. She faces one felony charge of mutilation of election materials and a misdemeanor count of disregard of the election code, and if convicted, is looking at up to three years in prison. She’s due back in a Chicago courtroom on March 21.
In another Oak Lawn case, pretrial hearings involving James West and Lauren Papiez, a couple accused of sending sexually explicit photographs and text messages to an Oak Lawn teenager, were continued to April 25 while attorneys continue to gather and exchange evidence.
OAK FOREST — Attorneys for David Baitman, a former Village of Oak Forest attorney charged with kidnapping and sexual assault, are looking to obtain a medical opinion about their client’s fitness for trial. It is possible that a University of Chicago neurologist specializing in dementia will produce an evaluation for the court by Baitman’s next status hearing on April 30, according to courtroom testimony.
FRANKFORT — A 2009 murder case involving a Frankfort Township man remains stalled at the appellate level. A state court will decide whether Brian Trainauskas’s constitutional right to counsel was denied during portions of a police interrogation. The Will County Sheriff’s Department charged Trainauskas with two counts of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide after he allegedly gave conflicting statements about finding the lifeless body of Monica Timar in his bathroom. While sitting in jail, in 2011, Trainauskas was then accused of plotting to murder a Will County prosecutor. Another status hearing for the latest charges was set April 10 at the Will County courthouse.
MOKENA — Pretrial hearings were continued to April 5 for an Aurora man who late last year pleaded not guilty to having sex with a girl in Buske Park. Steven L. Sly has been indicted on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
NEW LENOX — An attorney for a Chicago man accused of murder said he’s waiting on reports from a forensic expert as pretrial investigations continue. A nine-count indictment alleges that Rodney Julun killed Dwight Jones in June 2011 and robbed his home and property over the course of several days before the body was discovered. Two men, David White and John Reed, pleaded guilty last month to helping Julun commit burglary.
In the case of an Orland Park man accused of soliciting sex from teens over the Internet, prosecutors said they would continue discussions of a possible plea deal. New Lenox police charged Joseph Bozen with grooming and indecent solicitation of a minor last year after the parents of one teen complained. He returns to court on March 21.
On the Docket Next Week
Allan Kustok, accused of murdering his wife, Jeanie, in their Orland Park bedroom
Rajat Prakash, a physician at Advocate Christ Medical Center accused of fondling a multiple sclerosis patient
Nicholas Gorny, charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing a death
Joseph Campione, accused of stealing a donation jar intended to help a cancer patient pay her medical bills
Trial begins for Dawn Hamill, the owner of Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary charged with animal cruelty and neglect
Four young men on trial for the murder of John and Maria Granat return
Michael Angel, a former D210 employee charged with criminal trespass on school grounds and obstructing justice
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