Tag Archives: prison

Ex-El Rukn killer denies testimony that aided city led to freedom

(CHICAGO) A former El Rukn general and killer suspected of hatching a secret deal for early release testified Monday that “there wasn’t nothing in it” for him when he helped the city of Chicago defend a lawsuit brought by a man he was once convicted beside.

Authorities once vowed that Earl Hawkins wouldn’t get out of prison until his 70s. But months after Hawkins testified against Nathson Fields in April 2014 — telling jurors he had struck no deal with authorities for a break on his prison sentence — Hawkins was a free man, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

That was enough for U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly to order a new trial last year in Fields’ lawsuit against police and prosecutors who put him behind bars. That trial is now underway at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, where a combative Hawkins took the stand Monday.

Fields, also a former high-ranking El Rukn, spent 18 years behind bars, 12 of them on death row, before he was cleared in 2009 for the 1984 murders of Talman Hickman and Jerome “Fuddy” Smith. He was originally convicted alongside Hawkins in 1986. Later, it was revealed that the presiding judge, Thomas Maloney, had taken a $10,000 bribe from Hawkins’ attorney. The judge began to suspect the feds were watching and gave it back.

Hawkins left prison late in 2014 after the U.S. Parole Commission received letters supportive of Hawkins’ parole from Chicago Police detectives David O’Callaghan and Daniel Brannigan, as well as Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Sexton, records show. But Hawkins told lawyer Jonathan Loevy “that ain’t the reason I got free.”

Later, Hawkins said he believed even in 2009 that he would be released from prison in 2016. Nevertheless, he testified at Fields’ 2009 trial that he didn’t expect to go free until 2027.

He told Loevy he gave the false testimony because “people was badgering me like you are now,” and he wanted to move the proceedings along.

Ex-attorney gets 30 years for soliciting ex-wife’s murder

(JOLIET) A former Will County attorney has been sentenced to 30 years in prison following his conviction of soliciting the murder of his ex-wife.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak found 54-year-old Robert Gold-Smith guilty in March of solicitation of murder for hire.

Will County prosecutors say Gold-Smith offered to pay a fellow jail detainee to kill his ex-wife. Gold-Smith made the offer while he was being held on aggravated domestic battery charges involving his ex-wife.

A conversation between Gold-Smith and Brian McDaniel recorded at the jail was played during his bench trial. McDaniel also testified against Gold-Smith.

The domestic battery charges are pending. Also pending is a charge of communicating with a witness, which alleges Gold-Smith contacted McDaniel indirectly while the solicitation case was pending in an effort to sway his testimony.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Man charged with murder in Chicago fire that killed 4

(CHICAGO) A man has been charged with murder in a Chicago apartment building fire that killed an infant, two other children and a man.

Police say in a statement that 51-year-old Reginald Hester faces four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of arson. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a bond hearing, a day after he was arrested. It wasn’t known whether he had a lawyer.

Hester’s family has denied he had anything to do with the fire.

Police said after the Aug. 23 fire that it appeared to have been deliberately set by someone after a domestic dispute.

Three children ages 3 months, 4 and 7 died in the fire along with a 56-year-old man. The Chicago Tribune reports Hester was earlier questioned in the case and released.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sandi Jackson Reports to Prison

By Bill Cameron, WLS News

Former-Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, wife of convicted ex-congressman Jesse Jackson has reported to prison today.

Sandi Jackson reported to a minimum security federal prison in West Virginia and became federal inmate #32453-016.

She’s doing a full year in prison for filing the false tax return that did not declare the money she and former-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jr. (D-Chicago) looted from his campaign fund.

Reporting to prison is a stark reversal of the promise Alderman Jackson made in December of 2012.

“I will finish my term. I intend to finish my term unless something catastrophic happens,” Jackson said. “I could step outside and get his by a bus today.”

But of course something catastrophic did happen and Jackson will serve a one year sentence because of the scandal.

@ 2015 WLS News


Gang leader sentenced to life in prison for 2010 fatal shooting

(CHICAGO) A Chicago gang leader of the Maniac Latin Disciples was sentenced to life in prison in connection with a 2010 fatal shooting.

Andrew Ruiz, 34, and co-defendant Edwin Carrasquillo, 24, were previously convicted for the first-degree murder of Adrian Gates, 24, according to a statement from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Ruiz–already serving a 99-year sentence from an previous murder conviction–was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Domenica Stephenson on Thursday. Carrasquillo is still awaiting sentencing.

According to prosecutors, on the evening of June 15, 2010, cousins Ruiz and Carrasquillo were driving a white minivan in the 3000 block of West Grand when they pulled up behind a parked car occupied by Gates and his girlfriend.

When Gates got out of the vehicle and began crossing the street, Carrasquillo walked up from behind and shot Gates in the back of the head, prosecutors said.

Carrasquillo then got back in the van and Ruiz drove them away from the scene. Chicago Police officers on patrol in the area later tracked down Ruiz and Carrasquillo about three miles from the location of the shooting.

There were multiple eye-witnesses to the shooting, and the murder weapon was recovered near the I-290 expressway after additional witnesses told authorities they saw someone throw a gun out of the passenger window of a van that matched the description of the vehicle used in the attack, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Ruiz was convicted and sentenced to 99 years for a fatal drive-by shooting on Halloween in 2009 that killed 23-year-old Manuel Roman and seriously injured another man.