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State Seeks To Revoke Whalen's Bond After Appellate Ruling

Donald Whalen

Don Whalen should be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence on murder charges in the 1991 death of his father, according to a motion filed Wednesday by McLean County prosecutors.

The request to revoke Whalen’s $1 million bond follows a ruling Tuesday by the Fourth District Appellate Court reversing a judge’s decision last year to grant Whalen a new trial. Judge Scott Drazewski ruled that new evidence in the murder case warranted a new trial for Whalen.

In its motion, the state argues Whalen “no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence” since the reversal of Drazewski’s decision.

The appellate court sent the matter back to Drazewski for further review. Whalen’s lawyers with the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project said Tuesday they intend to go directly to the Illinois Supreme Court with a request to review the appellate decision.

Before his release in March 2019, Whalen had served about 28 years of the 30 years he is required for serve of his 60-year sentence in the death of his father William Whalen. The victim was found on the floor of the bar he owned in downtown Bloomington with stabs wounds and injuries from what police believed was a brutal fight that took place sometime after the former Twenty Grand Tap closed its doors for the night.

A hearing date has not been set on the bond motion.

Whalen has worn an ankle monitor since his release. He resides in Bloomington with his girlfriend.

The defendant posted $100,035 to be released.

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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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