The following are recent developments in notable court cases in DuPage and Kane counties:
Sentencing Confusion in Armed Robbery Case
Elmhurst: Diego Garcia wants a judge to clarify the sentencing range he faces on armed robbery charges tied to a pair of holdups in 2011. Garcia was told he was eligible for between 21 to 45 years if convicted in both cases, but the DuPage County Public Defender's Office suggests the range should actually be six to 30 years because a 15-year add-on for using a weapon during an armed robbery is improper, according to court records. That's because being armed is an fundamental element of an armed robbery charge, and not something that enhances possible penalties, documents show. Garcia said he cannot decide whether to discuss a plea or to go to trial without knowing his actual possible sentence. An Oct. 11 hearing is scheduled in the case.
Bail Reduced for Man Charged with Home Invasion
Glen Ellyn: A Wheaton man charged with a Glen Ellyn home invasion last month had his bail reduced this week during a hearing. Jeffrey Beard was arrested on home invasion, battery and weapons charges after breaking into the home of an acquaintance on Sept. 16. Police said he held a gun to a woman's head, and that he fired the gun at one point during the incident. He had been held in DuPage County Jail on $1 million, but a judge reduced bond to $99,000 cash during an Oct. 2 hearing. He originally would have had to post $100,000 to be released on bond. Beard is scheduled for arraignment on Oct. 15.
Man Pleads Guilty to Asking Undercover Cop to Attack Estate Executor
Lisle: Ladislav Fromelius, 73, of Naperville, recently pleaded guilty in connection to a 2010 attack plot in a dispute over an estate. Fromelius entered a blind plea with no sentencing agreement after admitting to asking an undercover police officer to commit an aggravated battery. Prosecutors initially accused Fromelius of paying the officer $2,000 to beat up the executor of an estate. Fromelius is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 24. Prosecutors dropped several other charges as part of the deal.
Woman Convicted of Aggravated DUI Waits on Appeal
St. Charles: An Aurora woman convicted of killing a St. Charles couple in a 2009 fatal crash near Elburn will remain in prison as she waits on an appeal in her case. This week, the 2nd Appellate District in Elgin declined to grant Alia Bernard a stay of her sentence—six years for aggravated DUI in the deaths of Wade and Denise Thomas—and also declined to set an appeal bond, which could have allowed her to post money for her release while her appeal is pending, records show. A Kane County judge previously denied Bernard's request to withdraw her guilty plea in the case prompting the appeal on grounds that, among other things, include claims of an ineffective first attorney and missteps in how prosecutors re-indicted Bernard. Filings in the appeal are expected to be ongoing until early next year, according to court documents.
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