Thursday, May 10, 2012

Latest Court Happenings

A report from one of Uptown's court advocates:

"Sometimes when we go to court, months and even years go by without much movement in the cases we are following.  A trial usually takes about two years from start to finish. 

And then there are times like we've had recently, where three Uptown-related cases were resolved in court dates very close to one another.  The court advocates from the 19th and 20th districts have been following these cases since they first went into the court system:
  • Diecell Marshall.  He was charged with committing six armed robberies in spring of 2010 at area gas stations and 7/11s, including the one at Montrose and Clark.  He agreed to a plea bargain of 25 years in front of Judge Linn at 26th and California.  He is only 23 years old (21 at the time of the crimes), and seemed totally overwhelmed.  It was hard not to feel a little pity for him, because I think he had no idea of the consequences of his actions until it was time for sentencing.  I could be wrong, but it appeared he had a clean record until the armed robberies.  His mother was there and Judge Linn allowed him to consult with her about what to do.  At his latest court date, he (1) rejected a plea bargain, (2) decided on a bench trial instead, (3) then opted for a jury trial.  The jury was chosen that same afternoon, and then (4) he decided to accept the original plea bargain he had been offered.  He was sentenced to 25 years for three of the robberies, sentences to run concurrently.  Had he gone to trial, he could have been charged for each robbery separately and the sentences could have run consecutively.  If he has good behavior, he will serve 12 and a half years and the soonest he will be out is late 2022, including time served.  He will be formally sentenced in June.
  • Larry Banks.  If you've been going to CAPS and reading the court advocate calendars, the name "Larry Banks" may be familiar to you!  He is a career burglar and has a record going back 27 years, with 11 felony convictions and 11 misdemeanor convictions.  He has given the police seven different names and 13 different birthdates, and claims membership in the Black P Stones.  He was arrested and convicted of burglarizing a beauty care shop on the 4800 block of Broadway in early 2011, and Judge Linn sentenced him to 14 years, of which he must serve at least seven.  There is no way he will be out before April 2018.  Larry's m.o. is to kick in the front door of small businesses and grab the cash register.  Those of us who remember two different recent crime sprees in Uptown where this exact thing happened to many of our mom&pop stores will be happy to know he's outta here for quite a while.
  • Wilbur Jackson.  Wilbur, a familiar figure around the Sunnyside Mall, was charged with shooting a man at the White Castle at Clark and Ridge on Thanksgiving weekend in 2010.  He was found guilty and could have been sentenced to up to 30 years.  Let me say that in my opinion he was extremely lucky to draw Judge Sharon Sullivan at the Skokie Courthouse, who sentenced him to 9 years, of which he must serve 85% minimum, based on good behavior.  That means the soonest he will be released is 2018.  Remember the name Sharon Sullivan when it comes to voting for judges!  She not only gave Wilbur what I consider to be a very short sentence, rather amazing considering he fired a gun in a fast food restaurant full of people, but she also dismissed the case of his co-defendant, Paul Myvette, saying there wasn't enough evidence to convict him.  I will be sure to remember her in the voting booth!  Wilbur has a lengthy record as a gang banger and as a drug dealer, and is in fact one of the Sugar Magnolias charged in the 2011 undercover sting of the P Stones drug dealing on Magnolia, near the Sunnyside Mall.
So, the sentencing wasn't what we had hoped for, but three Uptown offenders are off the streets and won't be causing havoc here for quite a while, which is good news.  My hope is that when they are released from prison, it will be to an Uptown that will not tolerate nor facilitate criminal behavior.

Joy Nelson and Joy Repella of the State's Attorneys Office/Community Justice Center did their usual fine job of prosecuting these cases and deserve kudos and thanks.

If you are interested in being a court advocate for ongoing or future cases, please come to the meetings on the last Tuesday of the month at the 19th District police station, from 6:00 to 6:30pm, and learn more about it.  There are no time requirements.  If you can spare a morning every couple months, or more often, you will be welcomed!"


  1. Really disappointed to hear of Wilbur Jackson's light sentence.

  2. Thank you for the updates and for letting us know which judges gave these sentences. I will definitely not be voting for Ms. Sullivan or Judge Linn. With Larry Bank's history it is clear he will be an ongoing threat to society and society deserves to be protected from him for more than potentially seven years. Sullivan should have given Jackson a minimum of 30 years. The man obviously has no regard for human life and will no doubt continue to be a dangerous threat to society when he gets out in 7 or so years.

  3. While I appreciate the efforts of our neighbors and UU, saying that "There is no way he will be out before..." is not necessarily a fact. Governor Quinn has been releasing prisoners at a torrid clip, so NOTHING is carved in stone, so to speak.

    Just throwing it out there.

  4. Just seems like yesterday when Wilbur spit in my face while I was walking my dog. Hopefully he does bad time in pen, and has to stay longer.

  5. I wonder if the judges lived around here and got jacked up a few times if they would be so quick to hand out light sentences?

  6. Judge Sullivan is a HUGE liability to the safety of all Law Abiding citizens of Cook County. She has a reputation of tossing EVERY SINGLE GUN possession case (no matter if they are prior Violent Felons or not) for over a calendar YEAR. WTF !!!

    *I wish the major News sources would like into her. In my opinion she's more dangerous to society than any banger living in UpTown.

  7. Disappointed about the sentencing but thanks for the update!

  8. This is all so wonderful. Everybody goes to Jail...except really bad criminals

    Like Presidents, and presidents of banks and other addictive gamblers who steal your money and ask you to vote for them. When they lose your money gambling YOU got to jail for not paying your bills and they get bailed out.

    Prison is an industry. it's a place where people who don't have connections and are vulnerable or people who are caught up in phoney political battles go to jail to be abused.

  9. Every judge who runs as a Democrat in Cook County, in other words ALL of them, (try and find a Republican judge in Cook County!) MUST be slated by the Cook County Democratic Slating Committee. In other words, Madigan, Burke, and the rest of the cigar chomping usual suspects. Got a beef with a judge, look at the Slating Committee, because THEY are the ones who don't give a rat's ass about what anyone has to say about the quality of our judges.

  10. #Cone

    That's not quite right. There are usually multiple candidates for each judicial position in the Democratic primary, and only one is slated by the party. Being slated (which usually requires Ed Burke's approval) used to guaranty a win, but in recent years more slated candidates have lost to outsiders (sometimes that's been good, sometimes not).

    Once you're elected judge, you only run for retention (not against other candidates) every six years, and don't get slated for that race. I think Judge Sullivan was first elected in 1992, and most recently retained in 2010, which means she next runs for retention in 2016.

    I am not at all defending Judge Sullivan's lenient rulings, which may be a reason that people want to organize against her retention in 2016. Ijust wanted to clarify Cone's description of the process.

  11. barking wat ever maybe he spit in ur face cause u was violating his rights waking ur dog yeah right yall been messing with him u get on here and talk about wat u dont know i understand in ur world the police are perfect but did u know this monster as u put it has been beaten by the police several times while hand cuffed and then charged with resisting arrest did u know one f these times he was paid $45000 so get the facts first then past judgement!!!