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Judge Denies Whalen's Request For Bond Money Return

Donald Whalen

A judge denied Don Whalen’s request Monday for the return of half the $100,000 bond he posted after he was granted a new trial on murder charges.

Whalen needs the money to support himself and help his family while he waits for key court decisions in his case, his defense lawyer Elliot Slosar argued.

Whalen was freed on bond in February after Judge Scott Drazewski granted him a new trial in the killing of his father Bill Whalen. Whalen posted the $100,000 required for his release on $1 million bond.

Slosar noted Whalen’s initial $2 million bond was cut in half, a ruling that allowed him to post the required funds.

Whalen has plans to work as a truck driver in the spring but currently he is involved in unpaid training, according to his lawyer.

Since his release from prison, Whalen has been “a model detainee,” said Slosar. A minor violation of his release occurred Sept. 5 when he stopped by a grocery store for food. The shopping trip was made, said Slosar, because Whalen’s fiancée was delayed in Florida after a hurricane.

Assistant State’s Attorney David Rossi said the state opposed the bond reduction but did not offer arguments.

Whalen has been on home confinement with the exception of trips for medical, legal and employment purposes.

In his ruling denying the return of bond funds, Drazewski pointed out that murder charges remain pending against Whalen.

The defense is waiting on a decision on the state's appeal of the decision to allow a new trial. Arguments were heard last week in Springfield on that issue. A reversal of the ruling granting a new trial could send Whalen back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence, Drazewski noted.

If the Fourth District court confirms the new trial, the state must decide if it will proceed with another trial or dismiss the charges.

Whalen served about 28 of the 30 years he was required to serve of his 60-year sentence.

The existing $1 million bond is one of the lowest set in McLean County on a murder charge, said the judge.

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Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.
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