Police and Courts | WGLT

Police and Courts

police tape

An armed-and-dangerous suspect in a string of vehicle thefts was captured Sunday near Minonk, after eluding authorities for several days.

A former Bloomington college student who faced decades in prison for dealing drugs on campus will have to wait for the public records of his offenses to be sealed, a judge ruled on Friday.

Exterior of Unit 5 offices
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

A former Unit 5 staffer claims in a federal lawsuit the district's leadership failed to protect her from an administrator's sexual harassment and then retaliated against her when she raised concerns.

In late July 2019, a group of migrant farmworkers from south Texas was working in a cornfield in DeWitt County, Ill., when suddenly a crop duster flew overhead, spraying them with pesticides. Panicked, the crew, which included teenagers and a pregnant woman, ran off the field with clothes doused in pesticides. Their eyes and throats burned and some had trouble breathing.

It happened again two weeks later, this time twice within 30 minutes.

Target store entrance
Ryan Denham / WGLT

In a sentence contrary to a state recommendation for probation, a judge on Wednesday sentenced a Bloomington man to 4½ years in prison and ordered him to pay restitution to the Town of Normal for damages to police squad cars caused by looters earlier this year.

Ben Crump
Michael Reynolds / AP

The beating death of an 8-year-old Normal girl is the focus of a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against six state child welfare workers, the child’s father and the woman serving life in prison for the child’s death.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A McLean County judge delayed sentencing hearings Tuesday for two men charged in connection with last summer's looting after prosecutors could not provide figures for the restitution the judge insisted the defendants pay to the Normal Police Department and two businesses.

Dion and Kari

A former McLean County government employee claims in a new federal lawsuit that he faced on-the-job discrimination and retaliation after he publicly raised concerns about racism in the workplace.

police tape
WGLT file photo

A 23-year-old man told police he was shot Wednesday night in a road rage incident in far west Bloomington.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday for a 10-year-old Goodfield boy accused of causing an April 2019 fire that killed five people.

Grampsas sits in court
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

A judge rejected a request on Friday to reduce the 45-year prison term handed down in September for Anthony Grampsas in the December 2018 slaying of Egerton Dover.

Three suspects
Jail Booking Photos

Two men accused in a 2019 murder in Bloomington will be tried together in February, a judge ruled on Thursday. 

Christopher Harrison
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

Christopher Harrison was sentenced to 31 years in prison on Thursday for second-degree murder related to a drug-related dispute that ended in a hail of bullets and the deaths of two young men.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

One of the more than 40 defendants charged with looting in Bloomington and Normal this summer has asked that a new judge handle his case, based on an alleged bias by the judge currently assigned to hear a majority of the cases.

Leila Jackson
Bloomington Police

A Bloomington woman was sentenced to 23 years in prison Monday in the 2018 stabbing death of Quantez Brown.

Cynthia Baker denied Friday that she killed 8-year-old Rica Rountree, suggesting instead that the child’s father was a more likely source of the fatal blow that ended the child’s life.

Tyjuan Bruce
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

The sentencing hearing for a man convicted of murder in the death of Egerton Dover was postponed Thursday after he asked for a hearing on claims that he received ineffective legal help from his lawyers.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Defendants in more than 40 summer looting cases in Bloomington and Normal will not be allowed to present fully negotiated pleas to resolve their cases, a judge said Thursday, in a decision that leaves all sentencing options from probation to prison on the table.

George Ryan
M. Spencer Green / AP

As an Illinois legislator, George Ryan believed the state’s death penalty was an effective means of deterring crime and punishing those convicted of the most heinous wrongdoing.

California state trooper
Don Thompson / AP

New research funded by State Farm shows there are still misconceptions about cannabis and driving safety -- and that 1 in 8 adults admits to having driven under the influence of marijuana.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Christopher Harrison will be sentenced as an adult in the April 2018 murder of two Bloomington men, a judge has ruled.

Attendees at a rally
Cindy Le / WGLT file photo

Those on the front lines of domestic violence in Bloomington-Normal say they’ve seen an alarming increase in not just the number of incidents, but also the severity, during the pandemic.

Jonathan Hovey in court
Ryan Denham / WGLT

UPDATED 2:25 p.m. | Charges accusing a former Unit 5 first-grade teacher of sexually assaulting two children were dismissed Tuesday by the state.

McLean County Law and Justice Center
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s chief judge says he and his colleagues are ready to hear requests for orders that would force COVID-positive people to quarantine if they’re not willing to do so voluntarily.

Willie Holton Halbert speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Local police departments are feeling the heat from civil unrest in cities where police-involved deaths have sparked violent protests, according to McLean County law enforcement leaders.

Crowd at the rally
Catrina Petersen / WGLT

Security guarded the Back The Blue rally entrance Sunday as Black Lives Matter counter protesters hovered nearby.  Inside Park in Bloomington, hundreds of people gathered for what was billed as a simple “thank you” to local law enforcement.

John Butler in court
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

After three years, the end is in sight for the lead defendant in the Coliseum fraud case.

police line do not cross
WGLT file photo

Bloomington Police are investigating three shooting incidents late Wednesday and early Thursday within a few blocks of each other. One person was injured.

Fire truck
WGLT file photo

UPDATED 6:30 P.M. | One man is dead after apparently becoming trapped under a large mower in the YWCA McLean County parking lot Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Alexander Goldman
Normal Police Department

A 52-year-old man who was missing for more than two weeks has been identified as the body found in a wooded area in north Normal, authorities said Wednesday.