Results tagged “Illinois” from The Court Reporter

Illinois Man's Plot Involved a Hot Tub and Cat and Later Explosives and a Bank

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An Illinois man, Brett Nash, was sentenced Thursday to serve 20 years in federal prison for hatching a plan to abduct a Granite City lawyer for money by getting Nash's wife to lure the victim from his home.

Nash, 46,  planned to seize the victim, take him back to his house and rig him up with a fake explosive device. Nash would take the victim to his bank and forced him to withdraw all his money under the threat that Nash would detonate the explosive if the victim didn't cooperate, according to federal officials.

Federal prosecutors indicated that Nash's initial plan was to electrocute the victim by putting him in a hot tub and electrocuting him by throwing in a radio.

He would then throw in a cat and electrocute the cat to make it look like the cat had accidentally knocked the radio into the hot tub, according to prosecutors.

However, federal officials state that one of the recordings indicated that on the day Nash was arrested, he told a federal confidential witness or CW that he wanted two guns for the robbery.

He told the CW that it didn't make any difference what caliber the gun was because the victim was going "to commit suicide," implying that he and the CW would shoot the victim and make it look like a suicide. "Dead men don't talk," said Nash in one of the recordings, federal prosecutors stated.

During the sentencing, Nash told the judge that he had no intention of killing the victim.

The judge disagreed.

Audio Recording Chicago Cops Doing Their Jobs Okay

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American Civil Liberties Union lawyers were audio recording Chicago police officers while they were performing their duties in public as part of an effort to monitor policing practices in that city.

Enter another group of lawyers from the Cook County State's Attorney who wanted block the ACLU lawyers and the public, in general, from audio recording cops doing their jobs.

The cops were speaking loud enough to be heard by a passerby, according to the ACLU.

But the  state lawyers said it is eavesdropping on cops and against Illinois state law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit blocked the Cook County attorneys from prosecuting ACLU staff for audio recording Chicago cops as part of its advocacy for changes in police practices in that city.
The State Attorney barristers appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the high court refused to hear the case and let the federal appeals court ruling stand.

Two Illinois state court judges have ruled that the application of the law to prosecute people for recording police in a public place is unconstitutional, according to the ACLU.

The ACLU also noted that a Cook County jury last year acquitted a young woman who was charged with the eavesdropping offense.

Harvey Grossman, Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois stated that nation's high court decision not to review the case will have a ripple effect throughout the state of Illinois.

"We are hopeful that we are moving closer to a day when no one in Illinois will risk prosecution when they audio record public officials performing their duties. Empowering individuals and organizations in this fashion will ensure additional transparency and oversight of public officials across the State," Grossman stated.



The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at