Court Watch: Fatal DUI Crash Defendant Pleads Not Guilty

Also, former-Tinley Park cop sentenced to probation for DUI hit and run. State's investigation into the death of Jeanie Kustok to wrap up soon.

The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.

Cook County

OAK LAWN — There was no mention of a plea deal Tuesday for Michael T. Kelly, a former Village of Oak Lawn employee accused of beating and choking a young girl. Prosecutors dropped an unspecified video into the evidence pool. Kelly’s defense attorney, Ed Barron, said so long as the state continued to tender evidence, a possible deal would have to wait. Both parties return to court on May 31.


A year and a half later, Kustok's defense attorneys will soon begin a pretrial investigation of its own, one that may rely in part on conflicting forensic opinion. He returns to court May 2.


A Justice man was indicted on dozens of counts related to last month's accident near Palos Hills. The brother of a man who died said he harbors mixed feelings about the charges.


The couple says they were unaware of the underage drinking bash but took a plea deal that included supervision and community service.

Will County


At his sentencing hearing, John Leonard apologized for having struck another car in Frankfort last year and sped off. The judge sentenced Leonard to the minimum punishment, which includes classes and counseling.


On the Docket Next Week


Brandon Bergthold, accused of approaching an undercover cop to buy sex with minors

Hui Zheng, accused of burning down his restaurant for the insurance

Joseph Campione, accused of stealing a cancer donation jar from a Crestwood convenience store


Rodney Albright, accused of not-so-secretly videotaping a minor in his bathroom

Michael Zimmerman, accused of traveling to Tinley Park to have sex with a minor


James West and Lauren Papiez are accused of sending sexually explicit photographs and text messages to a minor

John Tarrant, charged with Class X felonies for sexual assault

Joseph Bozen, charged with grooming and indecent solicitation of a minor


Rodney Julun, accused of murdering and robbing Dwight Jones of New Lenox Township


Four young men whom police say planned and executed the murder of John and Maria Granat in Palos Township

Two men charged with hate crime are due, once again, for a final pretrial hearing


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