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Man gets life for killing 3, including father

Staff report August 29, 2012

A South Side man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole today after being convicted earlier this year for a rampage that left his wife and former girlfriend dead and eventually claimed the life of his father, officials said. James Amison on Dec. 11 and 12, 2009, strangled his ex wife, Tashika Smith, in Steger, shot his father, James Johnson, in Maywood and fatally shot a former girlfriend, Stephanie Reed, in Chicago. Amison’s father died a little.

Man gets probation for role in Aurora murder case

July 1, 2014

An Oswego man accused of helping his friend dispose of a murder victim pleaded guilty today to attempted obstruction of justice, according to Kane County prosecutors. In a negotiated plea, Jose M. Becerra, 22, was sentenced to a term of probation on the misdemeanor count, prosecutors said. He had originally been charged with concealment of a homicide. Police say Becerra helped his friend, Juan Garnica, 20, of Aurora,
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dump the body of Abigail Villalpando after Garnica. As adults, they’ve been separated not only by five years in age but a continent, retreating to opposite coastlines in the aftermath of their parents’ brutal 1980 murders in unincorporated Libertyville. So on Friday when Kurt Rouse walked into a Waukegan courtroom where his brother is on trial for the murders of Bruce.

Defense atty. removed in Colin Nutter murder case

By Susan Berger and Special to the Tribune June 17, 2014

The trial of one of the three young men charged in the murder of Colin Nutter of Highland Park has been delayed once again because the defendant’s attorney has been removed from the case. But Vatamaniuc’s defense attorney, Robert.

Downstate prosecutor admits error in murder case

By Steve Mills and Tribune reporter June 18, 2013

In an unusual legal concession, a longtime prosecutor from southern Illinois said Monday that he would agree to a new trial for a man convicted of murder amid allegations the prosecutor improperly injected racially charged language at the trial two years ago. Charles Garnati, the state’s attorney of Williamson County, said in a statement that it was “fair and proper” to confess error in the case of Marcus Marshall, who was convicted in July 2011. Jurors studied that.

Briton jailed for 27 years to get new hearing in Miami murder case

David Adams and Reuters April 24, 2014

MIAMI (Reuters) A Miami judge on Thursday ordered a rare hearing to hear new evidence in the 1987 conviction of Krishna Maharaj, a British businessman who was found guilty in a grisly double homicide at a downtown Miami hotel that his defense team blames on Colombian drug traffickers. Maharaj, 75, spent a decade on death row before his sentence was commuted to two life sentences in 1997. Judge William Thomas cited new evidence presented by the defense.

Public defender in 1957 Sycamore murder case resigns

By Clifford Ward and Special to the Tribune June 29, 2012

DeKalb County Public Defender Regina Harris, the lead attorney in the high profile Jack McCullough murder case, announced Friday she is resigning to pursue private legal practice. Harris has been a public defender for more than two decades and has been head of the office in DeKalb since 2007. Before that, she was a public defender in Kane County. “I’ve been doing this for 24 years, and sometimes there comes a point where you have to see what your other.

New trial granted in Plainfield murder case

By Geoff Ziezulewicz and Tribune reporter April 10, 2014

A Plainfield man found guilty last year of killing his girlfriend’s son had the verdict vacated and was granted a new trial by a Will County judge on April 4. Santos Loza, 33, was found guilty in October in the 2008 death of his girlfriend’s child,
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9 month old Kevion Bender. Judge Sarah Jones ruled that Loza’s conviction on first degree murder be vacated in a court order issued April 4. Jones agreed in the order with an argument made by Loza’s attorneys in a post conviction.