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Hate crime charges are not leveled

Grand jury returns aggravated battery charges against Harty, Finch in Kinsman beating case

The circuit court grand jury Wednesday returned indictments against 19 defendants.

Luke Harty, 32, Ransom, and Scott Finch, 32, Diamond, were indicted for aggravated battery.

They were charged Nov. 22 with punching and kicking Faud Nafie in Kinsman, causing great bodily harm.

Neither was charged with a hate crime.

State’s Attorney Sheldon Sobol said Friday there is some evidence to charge one of the defendants with a hate crime, and the sheriff’s department is following up. At this time, however, there is no evidence to charge the other defendant with a hate crime.

Sobol also pointed out aggravated battery is a more-serious felony.

“Aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a sentence of two to five years in prison, while a hate crime is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison,” he said. “We can use any evidence of a hate crime as an aggravating factor for a sentence on the aggravated battery charge.”

Sobol said that, while the sheriff’s department is continuing to investigate, at this time, there is little to be gained by charging either with a hate crime.

Deputy Josh Slattery testified before the grand jury and bond for Harty and Finch was continued at $1,000 cash for each of them.

Kyle Phillips, also known as Kyle Knop, 19, 1305 1/2 Union St., and Michael Robinson, 23, 28th Road, Marseilles, were indicted for residential burglary. They were charged with entering the Michael and Terry Benignetti residence, 1307 Union St., on Sept. 19.

Morris Det. Alicia Steffes testified and bond was continued at $2,500 for each.

Joseph Ferguson, 27, 614 E. Chapin St., was indicted on two counts of aggravated battery. He was charged Nov. 21 with spitting on Morris Sgt. John Severson and Officer Anthony Puleo outside 104 Liberty St.

Officer Puleo testified and he remains in the county jail unable to post $750 cash bond.

James Matthews II, 43, 214 N. Railroad, Braceville, was indicted for aggravated domestic battery. He was charged Oct. 17 with punching and headbutting a woman, causing a nasal fracture.

Sheriff’s Det. Dan Winchell testified and bond was continued at $500 cash.

Amanda Riesterer, 29, was indicted for aggravated battery. She was charged Dec. 15, 2008, with grabbing Ariel Gonzalez by the hair, causing great bodily harm, at the South Campus of Minooka Community High School.

Although the charge was filed in court Jan.15, 2009, Riesterer was not served until Sept. 24, when she posted $500 cash bond.

Channahon Det. Adam Bogart testified and bond was continued a $500 cash.

Jonathaon O’Shea, 19, 242 Prairie Ridge, Minooka, was indicted for threatening a public official. He was charged Oct. 9 with threatening to take the life of a family member of a Minooka police officer.

The Minooka officer testified before the grand jury.

Leroy Devine, 20, Crest Hill, was indicted for burglary. He was charged July 10 with entering Walmart with the intention of committing a theft.

Det. Alicia Steffes testified before the grand jury.

Lester Case, 22, 575 S. Mazon, Coal City, was indicted for possession of cocaine. He was charged Nov. 10, after deputies responded to a reckless driving complaint on Illinois 113 in Diamond.

He remains in the county jail in lieu of $1,000 bond. Deputy Lonnie Harvey testified.

Kristal Montemayor, 48, 1593 Schubert Drive, was indicted for possession of alprazolam (Xanax) on Nov. 1.

Morris Officer Curtis Kneller testified and bond was continued at $100 cash.

Timothy Robson, 21, Buffalo, N.Y., was indicted for possession of 500 to 2,000 grams of marijuana and possession with intent to deliver. He was charged Nov. 6 by Illinois State Police on Interstate 80.

Trooper Chris Wilkes testified and bond was continued at $1,000 cash.

Tate Scheel, 21, 311 W. Main, Gardner, was indicted for possession of heroin on Sept. 5. Det. Dan Winchell testified and bond was continued a $100.

Jason Smith, 30, was indicted on nine counts of aggravated DUI. All counts relate to an Interstate 80 accident on July 19, which resulted in the permanent disability or disfigurement of Christine Suroski and Kyle Smith.

Jason Smith was indicted on six counts of aggravated DUI in October, but those counts did not include the injuries to Kyle Smith. He was charged with driving while under the influence of methamphetamine and not having liability insurance on his vehicle.

Trooper Baudino testified and bond was continue at $1,000 cash.

Jessica Batson, 21, Santa Rosa, Calif., was indicted for possession of 30 to 500 grams of marijuana. She was charged Nov. 18 by Illinois State Police. Trooper Wilkes testified and bond was continued at $1,000 cash.

Samantha Lo Lair, 24, 312 W. Main, Gardner, was indicted on two counts of forgery. She was charged with forging Walmart refund slips belonging to Alison Hanson and Angela Watson on Sept. 22. The slips were worth $147.56 and $126.44.

Det. Steffes testified and bond was continued at $500 cash.

Indicted for felony driving with suspended or revoked licenses were:

Jeremy Shaw, 25, who was arrested Nov. 1 on Marseilles Road.  The charge was upgraded to a felony because of priors Sept. 27, 2002, and Aug. 11, 2007, in Grundy County.

Deputy R. H. Coleman testified and bond was continued at $100 cash.

Ivan Burbridge, 29, was charged Aug. 14 on Interstate 80 by Illinois State Police. The charge was upgraded to a felony because of priors Sept. 27, 2002, and March 4, 2003, in Will County.

Trooper Osifcin testified and bond was continued at $100 cash.

Tamara Brooks, 43, 1300 Cemetery Road, was arrested Nov. 5 near Washington/Armstrong streets and Cemetery Road. The charge was upgrade because of a prior, Feb. 14, 2009, in Grundy County.

Sgt. Joe Elens testified and bond was continue a $100 cash.

James Mallios, 28, was charged Nov. 6 on Ridge Road. The charge was upgraded because of a prior, Aug. 23, 1997, in Cook County.

Minooka Sgt. Sean Beeler testified and bond was continued at $100 cash.

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